Dolly Mumma's Prawn Curry

Dolly Mumma's Prawn Curry

plate of prawn curry

It could be argued that the best kind of curry is one that's made with seafood. Ofcourse you have people that are in the 'red meat curry' camp but I firmly belong in the former. While salmon and pomfret (or golden pompano as it is known on Kiwi shores) are my favourite kind of seafood, for curries I love using prawns. 

Every house has their own favourite curry that will be a staple on the menu. In a Parsi home like mine, we had two curries we ate regularly. The red prawn curry my mum learnt from her mum and a green curry which is very unlike a Thai Green Curry. 

Coming back to the story of my curry, my mum has told me numerous times that she has never seen a child eat the way I used to – slowly, with eyes closed, relishing each bite to the fullest.

The family tale goes that mum first noticed me doing this when I was served a bowl of my nana, Dolly Mumma as I called her, prawn curry. Dolly Mumma was so ecstatic with my reaction, that from that moment on until the time I moved cities at the age of 11, whenever I visited her home the first dish that would be made was her signature prawn curry.

I loved her curry so much that once when I was sitting on her lap and she asked me what I wanted were she ever to pass away; I innocently told her that all I really wanted was a big never-ending bowl of her curry that I could always have and remember her by. Mumma passed away a few years ago and I was distraught. I realized that I never got around to learning her curry and that I no longer had anything special of hers that I could treasure.

A few months later, when trawling through old books, my mum and me came across a tattered diary filled with scribbles of recipes and names of suppliers that offered the best produce in Bombay. In it was a page titled ‘Curry Recipe for  Perzu', as she called me. We set aside the other mess and immediately headed to the kitchen to try out the recipe.

The curry came out just as I remembered Mamaiji making it. In that minute, I was transported back to my childhood – me licking my fingers clean while she smiled proudly at me.

Home-cooked food is special, not just for the taste but for the story each dish weaves around it. Most people can make a decent curry but for me Dolly Mumma's curry is the only way that curry should be cooked. The bold bright flavour and my memories associated with this curry was one of the reasons I started Dolly Mumma. I'm so happy that I've managed to bottle her unique recipe so that each time you cook the curry at your home, Dolly Mumma's legacy lives on.


• 275gm Coastal Curry Paste
• 500gm fresh or frozen prawns (preferably with tails on)
• Salt to taste
• 500ml water
• 2 potatoes


• In a saucepan, add the oil and tip in the entire jar of Dolly Mumma Coastal Curry paste.
• Add in the water and mix well until the paste has loosened. If you would like your curry to be thinner, add in more water and if you'd like your curry to be thicker allow the water to evaporate as the curry cooks.
• Cut the potatoes into cubes and add them into the curry. Cover the saucepan and allow the curry to simmer for about ten minutes until the potatoes are nearly cooked.
• While the curry is cooking, marinate your prawns in salt and set them aside.
• When the potatoes are cooked, add in the prawns and stir everything once again. Cover and allow to simmer for a further seven - eight minutes until the prawns are cooked.
• Adjust the seasoning if required.
• Serve hot with steamed rice with a squeeze of lemon and a red onion salad on the side.


• For a vegetarian curry, replace the seafood with frozen vegetables, tofu and/or paneer cubes. You will need to add the vegetables when you add the potatoes.
• For chicken, I recommend using cubes of boneless chicken thighs. These will need to be added when you add in the potatoes. If you are using boned chicken and the cooking time is longer then you will need to add more water. The curry can later be thickened by simmering without the saucepan lid.

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