Prawn Moilee |
Executive chef Naved’s special dish at Dishoom, Covent Garden, this light, fragrant and utterly delicious south-Indian-style curry is packed with juicy prawns and tempered with coconut milk. Although it looks impressive, it's easy to make, allowing for a quick week-night supper. Serve with idiyappam, the white, lacy noodle pancakes, also known as stringhoppers. If you can’t get these, it goes just as well with steamed rice.
Favourites 40
Total Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4


  • 6 green chillies
  • 55ml of vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 30 fresh curry leaves
  • 300g of Spanish white onions, sliced (a little chunky is good)
  • 15g of garlic paste
  • 15g of ginger paste
  • 2 tsp of fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1¼ tsp of ground turmeric
  • 25g of fresh root ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 400ml of coconut milk
  • 250ml of coconut cream
  • 24 large prawns
  • 300g of medium tomatoes, cut into small bite-sized wedges
To serve:
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Remove and discard the stalks from the chillies, then slice each one into three or four long strips. Set to one side.
  2. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add 40ml of the oil, let it warm for a few seconds, then add the mustard seeds and 20 curry leaves. Let them crackle for a few seconds.
  3. Add the onions and sauté lightly for 12 to 14 minutes, until soft but not coloured.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger pastes, salt, black pepper and turmeric and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the sliced chillies and ginger matchsticks and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk and cream and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. While the curry is simmering, place a small frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil. Toss in the rest of the curry leaves and fry for 1 minute, until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
  7. Add the prawns and tomatoes to the sauce and simmer gently for a further 5 to 6 minutes, until the prawns are cooked; do not overcook or they will be tough.
  8. Serve scattered with the fried curry leaves, with lemon wedges on the side.

If you’d like to prepare the dish in advance, make the sauce (up to and including step 5), chill and refrigerate, then reheat and continue from step 6 just before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Dishoom by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar & Naved Nasir (Bloomsbury, £26) and is out now. Photography © Haarala Hamilton.

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