Mangalorean Prawn Sukke

Spicy prawns cooked with chilli, turmeric, coconut & tamarind


This is one of my favourite ways to cook prawns. The masala for this prawn sukke (‘sukka or sukke’ meaning dry) is rich, full of flavour and the perfect consistency to coat chunks of king prawns. The influences from the region of Mangalore and the technique of cooking are similar to those across the konkan/ karavalli coast from murud all the way to Mangalore in the south. Traditional recipes from the region of Karnataka have a distinct influence not just from the west of India but also from southern flavours of the country.

My recipe for prawns sukke include a delicious coconut paste which gives the semi dry dish the flavour and also heat in the resultant gravy. My favourite way to serve this has got to be with ghee rice but then even just a simple bread roll would be so very delicious!


  1. Add the prawns to a large bowl and sprinkle over the turmeric powder and pinch of salt. Mix well and set aside. Crush the garlic and ginger to a smooth paste in a grinder or pestle and mortar.

  2. Heat a frying pan over a low flame. Add the all the ingredients of the spice paste except the coconut. Roast for 7-8 minutes stirring a few times while they release their aroma and change colour slightly. Turn the heat off and cool the spices.

  3. Grind the spices in a spice grinder to a powder. Decant into a bowl. If the coconut has any moisture dab lightly with a kitchen towel. In the same grinder add the coconut and grind it roughly. Add the coconut to the spice powder and set aside.

  4. mangalorean-prawn-sukke-3

    In a large heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds as they begin the splutter add the chopped onions. Fry for 14-15 minutes stirring well making sure they soften and go light brown in colour.

  5. Add the curry leaves and now turning the heat to a low setting add the garlic and ginger paste. Fry for 2 minutes

  6. Add the chilli powder, blended spice and coconut mix along with the tamarind paste. Stir for a few seconds and add the marinated prawns. Mix well and season to taste.

  7. Add the water and simmer over a low heat for 5-6 minutes with the lid on until the prawns are cooked all the way through. Stir half way through cooking. Turn the heat off and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with plain rice or pav/ bread roll and some raita.

  • RahulS

    I made this last weekend. Pic attached. Tariwala Gosht is next!! Thank you for all the fabulous recipes.

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      YUMM!! This looks so delicious:)

  • Jasreen

    I just made this today with the smaller prawns that I had. It turned out great and I am definitely going to redo this with bigger prawns Thank you very much, Maunika. You’re the best!

  • Jasreen

    I just made this today with the smaller prawns that I had. It turned out great and I am definitely going to redo this with bigger prawns Thank you very much, Maunika. You’re the best!

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      YUMMM!! That looks delicious.

  • Eligio Bartolloni

    Dear Maunika , love your recipes. I have a question, can I use dry curry leaves instead of fresh in this dish? If so how many dry leaves do you recommend? Thanks from Canada

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Thank you for your comments! Similar amount of dried would be good. Add them at the end of the cooking rather then the beginning. Enjoy!

  • Martin Parry

    Hi Maunika. I’m just a Saturday night chef but I do love to use your curries. Tonight its the Prawn Sukke

  • Martin Parry

    Went very well. I substituted uncooked prawns from Waitrose and fennel seeds for Fenugreek. Want down well at home and will certainly go on my repertoire. Specially good for my low fat diet.

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Glad to hear this Martin! Thank you for your lovely comments:)

  • Martin Parry

    y the way it would be really useful if I could upload recipes to my Pinterest board.


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