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Chef’s Recipe : Andhra Prawn Curry by Atul Kochhar

24th Oct 2018

Andhra Prawn Curry (Veinchana Royyalu)

Atul Kocchar, the first Indian chef in the world to receive a Michelin star in 2001 shares a great curry dish to enjoy during National Curry Week (22 – 28 October).

The region and history for this dish comes from Andhraiites (tribe of people hailing from Andhra Pradash region in India) that typically eat fiery hot food, and this prawn curry packs a lot of flavours too!

Serves 4

Skill Level: 2 (1 simple to 5 being complex and challenging)


  • 500g raw peeled tiger prawns
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • fresh coriander sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 tablespoons Onion Paste (below)
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, or to taste
  • 125ml passata
  • 250ml water
  • sea salt

Assemble all the ingredients and equipment before you begin. You need a large sauté or frying pan. Remove and discard the prawn tails, if necessary. Lightly crush the cardamom pods to loosen the seeds. Rinse and chop enough coriander sprigs to make about 2 tablespoons and set aside a few sprigs for a garnish.

Heat the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat in the pan. Add the cardamom pods and the seeds, the cloves and fennel seeds, and stir until the spices crackle. Add the onion paste and stir it into the oil for 30 seconds. Add the ground coriander, chilli powder and passata. Season with salt and stir for 30 seconds – 1 minute to cook the spices. The mixture will have a paste-like texture. Watch closely so the spices do not burn.

Add the chopped coriander, prawns and water. Bring to a simmering point, stirring for 30 seconds, or until the prawns turn pink. Adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary.

Garnish with coriander sprigs to serve.

Atul’s time-saving tips

Buy raw prawns that have already been shelled, and this warming and satisfying curry will be on the table in less than 15 minutes. That’s quicker than the time it takes to heat the oven and cook a ready meal. If the prawns need thawing, however, put them in a large colander or sieve and run lukewarm water over them until they thaw.

Onion Paste  –  makes about 600g

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 500g onions, coarsely chopped
  • 100g (about 6 tablespoons) Ginger-Garlic Paste (below)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Heat the oil over a medium-high heat in a large sauté or frying pan that is ideally non- stick. Add the onions, the ginger-garlic paste and salt, and stir frequently for 25 minutes, or until the onions are browned. Watch carefully towards the end of cooking so the mixture doesn’t catch and burn, which can happen very quickly. If they do burn, you’ll have to throw them out and start over – there isn’t any way to rescue them.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor while it’s still warm and blitz to a fine paste.

Leave to cool completely, then store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Garlic Paste  –  makes about 200g

  • 2 large garlic heads, 75g each, separated into cloves and peeled
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Put the garlic cloves, water and vegetable oil in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade and blitz, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until a paste forms.

This keeps in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.


Alternatively, enjoy dining at Atul’s idyllic restaurant in Marlow, Sindhu by Atul Kochhar at The Compleat Angler. Overlooking the banks of the Marlow Wier, this is fine dining Indian cuisine in the most dramatic of settings. Dine with the Luxury Restaurant Club to enjoy exclusive dining privileges. Download the Luxury Restaurant Guide free app here.

sindhu event-min Sindhu by Atul Kochhar, The Compleat Angler, Marlow Bridge, Marlow SL7 1RG 

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