An easy prawn curry recipe that is ready in under 20 minutes - this Prawn Tikka Masala is a seafood twist on a curry house classic and a great way to include more prawns in your diet. Tender king prawns in a creamy tomato based sauce with lots of herbs and spices.
We all know and love a classic chicken tikka masala, but this prawn masala is an easy twist to reduce the amount of meat you are eating. It still has that rich and creamy tomato-based sauce, flavoured with a blend of aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala, but king prawns instead of chicken.
Quicker than ordering a takeaway curry, this prawn tikka masala is ready in under 20 minutes and most of that time is hands-off. It's a really easy, but flavour packed, weekday meal.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Oil - Olive oil or vegetable oil will work. To keep it traditional you could use ghee.
- Onion - Save yourself some time and use frozen onion. You could also use shallots which would add a sweeter flavour.
- Bell pepper - This adds flavour and a bit of crunchy texture. Again, you could use frozen peppers to save time.
- Prawns - The star of the dish, prawns are the main ingredient in this curry. Fresh or frozen prawns can be used. Just thaw the frozen prawns first if using.
- Spices - A blend of traditional curry spices to give it that warm and slightly spicy flavour. You could use a tikka masala paste if you wanted a more intense flavour.
- Tomatoes - We like using these as it gives a chunky texture to the sauce. However, if you wanted it to be smoother, then you could use passata (tomato sauce in the US). Make sure you use the best quality tinned tomatoes you can for this tikka masala, as the cheaper tins tend to be watery and you will end up with a thin sauce.
- Tomato puree - This adds a more intense flavour to the tomatoes.
- Coconut milk - We love the flavour this gives the curry, however you can swap it for single or double cream if you prefer.
- Sugar - A little pinch of sugar helps to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Lime - This adds a splash of zesty freshness to the curry.
- Coriander (cilantro) - A must in a curry! Always use fresh. You can leave it out if you are not a fan.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make prawn tikka masala - Step by step
One: Heat the oil and add the onion and red pepper. Cook over a low heat for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Two: Add the ginger, garlic and spices. Mix well to coat the vegetables.
Three: Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, coconut milk and sugar. Mix well and cook over a low heat for 8 minutes.
Four: Add the prawns, coriander (cilantro) and lime juice. Mix well and return to the heat for 2 minutes.
What to serve with prawn tikka masala
If you are looking to make a curry feast, then we have you covered with lots of different sides - some traditional and some not so much.
Fish - You don't have to use prawns in this, other fish like salmon or cod will work too. Why not try our Cod Curry?
Vegetables - We gave this prawn masala a nutrient boost with some red peppers, but there are loads of options when it comes to vegetables here. For a leafy green boost, why not add some spinach or kale. You could also cook some mushrooms and courgette and the same time as the onion.
Vegetarian - Fancy something different from prawns? Swap with for chickpeas as they are nice and chunky like the prawns and they're protein packed too.
Spice - This is a relatively mild curry, but to give it a kick of heat, you can add some red chilli flakes to it.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, unfortunately you can't reheat this as it uses cooked prawns and they can't be reheated. So only make as much as you need, as it cannot be stored. However, if you swap the cooked prawns for raw ones, then this could be reheated. It will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for 2 days and then can be reheated in the microwave.
If you would like a thinner sauce for this, try using passata instead of tinned tomatoes. You could also add some stock or extra coconut milk to thin it out.
More curry recipes
Prawn Tikka Masala
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil
- 1 Onion - medium; diced
- 0.5 Red bell pepper - diced
- 1 tablespoon Fresh ginger - finely grated
- 2 Garlic cloves - crushed
- 200 g (7 oz) Cooked king prawns
- 1 tablespoon Paprika
- 0.5 teaspoon Cumin
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon Garam masala
- 0.5 teaspoon Red chilli flakes
- 200 g (1.33 cups) Chopped tomatoes - tinned
- 1 tablespoon Tomato puree
- 100 ml (0.5 cups) Coconut milk
- 1 pinch Brown sugar
- 0.5 Lime - juice only
- 15 g (1 cups) Fresh coriander (cilantro) - chopped
- Heat 1 teaspoon Olive oil and add 1 Onion and 0.5 Red bell pepper. Cook over a low heat for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 1 tablespoon Fresh ginger, 2 Garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon Paprika, 0.5 teaspoon Cumin, 0.5 teaspoon Ground coriander, 1 teaspoon Garam masala and 0.5 teaspoon Red chilli flakes . Mix well to coat the vegetables.
- Add 200 g Chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon Tomato puree, 100 ml Coconut milk and 1 pinch Brown sugar. Mix well and cook over a low heat for 8 minutes.
- Add 200 g Cooked king prawns, 15 g Fresh coriander (cilantro) and the juice of 0.5 Lime. Mix well and return to the heat for 2 minutes.
- To add a little extra texture and flavour to this curry, you can add a sprinkle of ground almonds or desiccated coconut.
- For a more indulgent prawn tikka masala, swap the coconut milk for single or double cream.
- You can use this curry sauce base to make chicken tikka masala too.
- Make sure you are using fresh spices. If you spices have been open for longer than 6 months, then they won't have much flavour and you won't get the best tasting chicken tikka curry.
- Adding some cooked lentils to the curry is a great way to bulk it out.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.