This delicious, mild curry is so easy to make. The word 'malai' means cream, but this curry gets its creaminess from coconut milk. This is a recipe from Bengal, which is famous for its seafood. Serve it with steamed basmati rice.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
20 mins
total:
40 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Garam Masala:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the fresh garam masala: in a coffee grinder, grind the cardamom seeds, 3 whole cloves, and 3 cinnamon sticks to a fine powder. Set aside.

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  • Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the 4 whole cloves, 4 cardamom pods, and 2 sticks of cinnamon and fry for a few seconds (take care as cloves tend to pop out of the pan). Stir in the grated onion and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook and stir until the liquid dries and the onion no longer smells raw, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

  • Stir in the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in the water, cover the pan, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

  • Pour in the coconut milk and stir well. When the mixture is just below boiling, stir in the prawns. Sprinkle the mixture with almost all of the fresh garam masala powder, reserving a pinch to use as a garnish. Gently stir to combine. Do not cover the pan at this stage, as the coconut milk will curdle.

  • As soon as the prawns are pink and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes, add the ghee. Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the reserved garam masala over the dish and serve.

Nutrition Facts

343 calories; protein 25.1g 50% DV; carbohydrates 13.8g 4% DV; fat 21.4g 33% DV; cholesterol 175.3mg 58% DV; sodium 70.6mg 3% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (9)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
02/02/2014
One minor correction - the word Malai in this recipe is derived from Malay. Reason- this recipe came to Bengal from Malayasia. Bengal, despite its topography and rich culinary heritage, has surprisingly ignored coconut in its recipes. Read More
(9)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
07/22/2018
My husband loved this. To me I was expecting a thicker sauce... but that s ok. However the recipe needed a lot more salt than it called for. It s a good dish I just prefer thicker sauce so I ll stick to Indian or Thai recipes. Read More
14 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
02/02/2014
One minor correction - the word Malai in this recipe is derived from Malay. Reason- this recipe came to Bengal from Malayasia. Bengal, despite its topography and rich culinary heritage, has surprisingly ignored coconut in its recipes. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
08/04/2013
This is just awesome! I used to eat this in a nearby Bengali restaurant and was craving it for a while since I can't go there anymore. Made it for dinner tonight and it was just the same. Thank you!!! Read More
(7)
Rating: 4 stars
06/28/2015
I give this a A-. It felt a bit bland to me. I added a few pinches of salt and it really brought the flavors out. The sauce was a bit thin also. I may try it again and tweek a few things as the flavor was wonderful. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 4 stars
10/24/2016
Can add shredded carrot raisins or any veggie that's not bitter. If using a garam masala paste instead of powdered spices use 2 tablespoons. Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
12/13/2013
It's pretty easy to make but to me it just seemed like it was missing something. Like maybe if you added some carrots or something. It had great flavor and it was different. I didn't have any ghee so I skipped that part. I served it over sticky rice but I'm sure basmati rice would be better. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
07/22/2018
My husband loved this. To me I was expecting a thicker sauce... but that s ok. However the recipe needed a lot more salt than it called for. It s a good dish I just prefer thicker sauce so I ll stick to Indian or Thai recipes. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/15/2019
So good! I doubled the recipe and made enough for my household. It takes some time and patience to make, but it's absolutely worth it! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/18/2016
Very simple and easy to make recipe. I made a small change by frying the prawns first. And also giving some dry red chillies and bay leaves in the first portion. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
06/14/2018
Really liked this! It was a lot of work but the freshly ground spices added so much flare! I did add a sliced red bell pepper peas and 2 grated carrots. Read More