Recipe: Skinny Pea & Prawn Curry

It’s January, it’s freezing cold and we’re about a week into yet another national lockdown, so lets make a curry. My Skinny Pea & Prawn Curry is light, packed with veg, spices, and is very nourishing, very vibrant and very healthy. This easy seafood curry (made entirely from frozen or store cupboard ingredients I might add) is what you want to be making for dinner tonight.

I know I’ve written a fair bit about this before, but I come up with new recipes in pretty much three ways. Sometimes I come up with an idea daydreaming about food, eating something else, or seeing a picture of something online. Then I just work it out, researching elements I don’t already know how to make, testing as I go along. This is also what happens when recipes come to life as a result of the fridge forage.

Sometimes recipes appear because part of something has come from something else. Since I was given it for Christmas I’ve been cooking loads from Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage’s brilliant vegetable book Flavour (ad) which, with the addition of Ixta’s influence speaks to me in a way that no Ottolenghi book has managed to in the past. No recipe in there has yet screamed to me ‘this is utter perfection’ but there are a couple of sauces in there I’ve tried that I could just eat with a spoon, and which I know will be adapted, simplified and paired with other things in future recipes – assuming Ocado actually deliver my next net of blood oranges and some good avocados next week I’ve got a salad coming up that is totally my own, but drowned in an amazing Ottolenghi sauce from Flavour.

And then there are the recipes I try, from cookbooks, food magazines, food websites and food blogs which I enjoy, but while I’m eating them I just think there is something missing, and I want to figure out how to tweak. This is one of those recipes, starting life as a weeknight prawn curry from an old issue of BBC Good Food, before I added more veg and more tang. This curry is quick, simple, delicious, and hopefully you’ve already got all the ingredients at home.

One ‘hero’ ingredient in here I love are tinned cherry tomatoes – look out for them, as they’re brilliant, especially in these uncertain times for food deliveries. I always seem to be pairing them with prawns, both here, and in the to die for (if I may say so myself!) Prawn Saganaki in One Pan Pescatarian. Sainsbury’s do a Taste the Difference own brand, Biona make them which you can order from Ocado, but in a pinch, you can always use a good quality tin of chopped tomatoes here instead.

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Skinny Pea & Prawn Curry

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Curry
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A quick, bright and healthy prawn curry made entirely from ingredients from the freezer and your kitchen cupboards!


  • 1 large brown onion
  • splash light oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • thumb sized piece ginger
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 x 400g (14 oz) tin whole cherry tomatoes
  • 250g (8 1/2 oz) frozen raw king prawns, defrosted 
  • large handful frozen petit pois
  • 4 tsp tamarind paste
  • fresh coriander (for serving)
  • brown rice (for serving)


  1. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Heat a generous splash of oil in the bottom of a large saucepan or casserole dish over a medium high heat and fry the onion. with a pinch of salt for a few minutes until it has softened, started to colour, but not browned.
  2. Meanwhile, feel and grate the garlic cloves and ginger. Thinly slice the chilli – it is up to you if you want to leave the seeds in for more heat, I don’t. Add the aromatics to the onions and cook for another minute or two until soft and fragrant. Stir in the spices and cook for a minute more.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes and their juices, along with 1/4 of the tin filled with cold water. Give everything a good stir, crushing the cherry tomatoes lightly with the back of a mixing spoon. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low, allowing the curry to simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Drain the prawns and add them to the curry along with the frozen peas. Stir occasionally until the prawns are cooked through, this should take 3-4 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, stir in the tamarind paste and season to taste with salt before serving with fresh coriander and brown rice.