Add A Little Crunch To Your Lunch With This Malvani Prawn Curry

Maharashtra boasts many communities with distinct culinary traditions of their own. While yes, street food favourites like vada pav, bhelpuri, and misal pav rule the roost, there’s plenty to explore, savour and love in the region. Take the Malvani cuisine, for instance, it is the standard cuisine of the Konkan region of Maharashtra and Goa. Which is why, you see influences of both Marathi and Goan cuisines in Malvani cuisine. 

Malvani food is known for its hot, bold flavours as well as for its rich coastal fare. For example, the Malvani Prawn Curry, which is also known as   Prawn Kalwan. ‘Kalwan’ is a local word that loosely translates to ‘mix’. In this case, it is the coming together of rice and curry. Malvani cuisine packs a range of wet curries that go very well with rice. But in this recipe, rice is part of the masala. The robust curry also (obviously) has the Malvani masala - a spice blend made of roasted chillies, lentils, and more - is complemented by coconut milk, which makes the curry spicy and soothing at the same time. This prawn curry is so popular that you can find it across eateries, big and small. But making it at home is also a labour of love that seems absolutely worth it. Here’s one such delicious recipe by home chef and cookbook author Roopa Nabar.


  • 1 cup medium, shelled prawns, deveined with shells intact 
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds 
  • 4 dried red chillies, broken 
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped 
  • ¼ cup grated fresh coconuts 
  • 1 tsp Malvani masala 
  • 1 tsp rice 
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic 
  • ½ cup coconut milk 
  • 3-4 kokum petal 


  • To prawns, add turmeric powder and salt. 
  • Mix it and set aside for 5 minutes to marinate. 
  • Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a pan. 
  • Add coriander seeds and sauté until they become fragrant. 
  • Add red chillies, sauté for a minute.
  • Then, add half the onion and sauté until they turn golden 
  • Add coconut, mix and roast for 30 seconds. 
  • Take the pan off heat, add rice and mix well. Allow roasted mixture to cool slightly. 
  • Grind roasted mixture along with some water to get a fine paste. 
  • Heat remaining oil in another pan. Add remaining onion and sauté on high heat until it turns golden. 
  • Add garlic and sauté until it turns golden.
  • Add ground paste, mix, and cook for a minute. 
  • Add marinated prawns, mix, and cook for a minute. 
  • Reduce heat to low, add the Malvani masala, mix well. 
  • Let it cook on low heat for 5 minutes. 
  • Then, add coconut milk and mix well. Add kokum petals, mix and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes and serve hot.