Prawn Avial is a seafood version of a very popular South Indian curry ‘Avial’ which is a combination of a variety of vegetables cooked in a coconut-based curry. With the flavor of shrimps, the humble curry gets to the next level of perfection and divinity. There is no standard list of vegetables to be added but a few of them are a must like drumsticks which are the main ingredient for enhancing the flavors of this curry. Yam has that subtle and delicate texture mostly creamy whereas raw bananas and gourds are bland but it feels good to get variety in every bite.
The secret to preparing a perfect avial is to make sure that the vegetables are not overcooked. You can either cook all vegetables together or in the sequence of cooking time. The coconut masala needs very less time to cook. Prawns should not be overcooked, hence it needs to be added at the last and should not be cooked for more than 5 minutes. Prawn Avial was stuck in my mind for a long time ever since I had tasted it as a part of a seafood thali in a South Indian restaurant. What more can you ask for when you have seafood, coconut and vegetables all in one dish.
Prawn Avial ~ Shrimps & Coconut Curry
- 200 grams prawns peeled and deveined
- 1 carrot chopped into bite size
- 1 drumstick cut into 2-inch pieces
- ½ cup chopped suran elephant foot yam
- ½ cup chopped ash gourd rakh kaddu/louki
- ½ cup chopped green beans alasande
- ½ cup chopped snake gourd
- ½ cup chopped raw banana
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ cup chopped raw mango or 1/2 cup tamarind soaked water
- ½ teaspoon salt
For coconut paste: Grind to a smooth paste
- ¾ cup fresh grated coconut
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 big green chili
- 5 curry leaves
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 dry red chilies
- 5 to 6 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Prepare the coconut paste and keep it ready.
- Heat a saucepan and add carrot, drumstick, suran, ash gourd, green beans, snake gourd, raw banana, water just till it covers the vegetables along with turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Do not add too much water. Once the water starts to boil, lower the heat, cover, and cook for 10 minutes or till the vegetables are almost 90% cooked.
- Now add chopped raw mango or 1/2 cup tamarind water along with coconut paste, stir well and cook for a minute. Then add prawns and cook for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat but keep the curry covered for 15 minutes before serving.
- Heat coconut oil in a small pan, add dry red chilies and curry leaves. Cook for few seconds and then pour this over the prawn avial.
- Serve hot with rice or Malabar Paratha.
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