Prawns in Maldivian style

The trip to Maldives is something I cherish even now.. months after the visit….it was such a wonderful one! It’s the most serene and relaxing place on earth I’ve ever been to…till date at least. It won’t be long before we go back again. Talking about the trip to Maldives, the local cuisine was something which made the trip even better! I’m a spice lover and hence Maldivian cuisine appealed to me instantly!

So this time I tried to re-live a part of the trip by preparing something similar to the local Maldivian cuisine at home. That’s the wonderful part of cooking at home! You can prepare almost anything you crave for within minutes. I didn’t have all the ingredients required for the authentic Maldivian prawn curry so I tweaked the recipe and prepared it in my style and it was more than enough to satisfy my craving 🙂

I used fresh tiger prawns I had got from the wet market and added in some red pepper and spring onion as well to add colour to the dish. The dish had a very rich coconutty flavour with a nice blend of spices. It’s a very easy recipe and can be prepared for any occasion. So go ahead and kick-start this simple culinary tour 🙂



Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2 to 3


Cooking oil – 1.5 tbsp (excludes the oil used for frying the prawns)

Tiger prawns – 400 g

Onion – 1 large, sliced

Red Pepper – 1, cut into cubes

Spring Onion – 1/2 cup, chopped

Bay Leaf – 1

Red Chili – 1 to 2, sliced from the middle

Tomato – 1 medium, chopped

Coconut cream – 1/4 to 1/2 cup

Maldivian curry powder – 2 tbsp (I mixed 2 kinds of Maldivian curry powder); you can find it in the supermarket or you can also use Indian curry powder as a substitute. Alternatively, you can make it fresh at home by dry roasting together coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, chili powder, cinnamon powder, ground pepper and cardamom seeds in equal parts.

Ginger paste – 1 tbsp

Garlic – 2 tsp, finely chopped

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Paprika – 1 tsp

Water – 1/2 cup

Salt – to taste


Step 1: Wash the prawns and clean them properly. Add the turmeric, paprika, little salt and mix well with the prawn. Shallow fry the prawns and keep them aside.



Step 2: Heat the oil in a non-stick pan or U-shaped vessel. Add the bay leaf followed by the sliced onion and saute for a minute or so.


Step 3: Add the tomatoes and chopped garlic. Mix well and add in the red pepper, ginger paste and red chili. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes and add the curry powder mixture. Mix well for another 2 minutes and add in the coconut cream. Stir in well. Add half cup of water, spring onion and cook for another few minutes until you have a thick creamy consistency (as per your preference). Add in salt as required.




Step 4: Now add the prawns to the curry mixture and give it a gentle stir. Be careful not to break the prawns. Transfer to a serving dish. I served the dish with some white rice and salad. You can choose to serve it with pilaf as well.


To print this recipe click here: Prawns in Maldivian Style

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Noodles with Prawns and Leeks – A Chinese New Year special

It’s time for Chinese New Year, the biggest festival here in Singapore. I’m sure you are aware of the Chinese Zodiac. It is called Sheng Xiao and is based on a twelve year cycle, representing an animal sign each year. Last year was the ‘Year of the Dragon’ which represents authority, dignity, honor, success, luck and capacity. This year it’s the ‘Year of the Horse’ which is a sign and symbol of traveling, success, freedom, passion and leadership. I also read that since horse is a social animal and red is connected to love, horse is treated as a Romantic Star in Chinese Zodiac. So what does your zodiac say about this year? 🙂

Every year during Chinese New Year in Singapore, ‘Niu Che Shui (牛车水)’ popularly known as Chinatown, is decorated beautifully with lanterns and symbol of the Chinese Zodiac of that year and it is something you wouldn’t want to miss!! Although I had seen the decorations on news and websites, I knew I had to visit it myself like every year! So I went yesterday evening and got quite a few shots! It was very crowded and I loved it that way…isn’t that how it’s supposed to be during a festival? The whole place seemed so lively and full of joy 🙂

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Food was in abundance everywhere, every stall had lots to offer starting from Chicken Satay, Hokkien Mee (fried noodles), Steamed Buns (Xiao Long Bao), Satay Bee Hoon (a fusion dish between Chinese and Malay) and on and on…. the list is endless! I had the satay and was craving for more and more!! But I couldn’t have too much since dinner was already waiting for me at home 🙂

The Chinese New Year special recipe for today is Prawn noodles. I cooked the noodles with leeks, carrots and a few other common ingredients used in Chinese cooking. The sauce I prepared for this dish was kind of the usual brown sauce used in Chinese cooking , but I added some chili sauce to add in to the color and spice up the dish.  This was the first time I was cooking a dish with leeks; the soft buttery texture of the prawn and the mild onion flavor of the leeks absorbed in the sauce, turned out to be incredible! 🙂

Xin Nian Kuai Le , 新年快乐 (Happy New Year) to you and your family 🙂

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Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: Around 15 minutes

Serves: 4


Cooking oil – 2 tablespoons

Egg noodles – 4 blocks, soaked in water for 10 to 15 minutes

Prawns – 390 g, medium sized, cleaned, head removed and de-veined

Leeks – 5, leaves removed, stem chopped into 1 inch long size

Carrots – 2, sliced into thin round discs

Ginger – 1 teaspoon, grated

Garlic – 3 cloves, chopped

Prawn stock/vegetable stock – 1 cup

Chili oil – a few drops (optional)

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For the sauce:

Ginger – 1 teaspoon, grated

Dark Soy Sauce – 2 tablespoons

Rice Wine – 1 tablespoon

Cornstarch/cornflour – 1 tablespoon

Prawn stock/vegetable stock – 1/4 cup

Chili sauce – 2 tablespoons

Sesame oil – 2 teaspoons

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Mix all the above ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.

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Step 1: For preparing the noodles, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in an U-shaped vessel. Add the garlic and fry for 15 seconds. Add the stock, followed by the noodles (discard the water in which the noodles were soaked). Let it simmer for around 2 to 3 minutes until the noodles have absorbed most of the stock, but not all. Transfer to a serving dish. Set aside.

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Step 2: Heat the remaining oil in a wok. Add the grated ginger and cook for 10 seconds. Follow by adding the carrots and the leeks. Cook for around 2 to 3 minutes or so until the carrots and leeks are soft.

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Step 3: Add the sauce along with the prawns. Toss well for around a minute so that the prawns are well coated with the sauce and soaked with the seasonings. Turn off the stove and quickly pour the whole mixture over the noodles.

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Step 4: Pour a few drops of chili oil over the prawn and leek mixture as per your preference. Serve hot as a stand alone dish or with soup and other Chinese dishes.

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Shrimps with Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce

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Prawns/shrimps are one of my favorites! Back in my hometown, it’s quite expensive, so it was a delicacy back then for us. But in Singapore, it can be part of one’s everyday meal. It’s found in every wet market and super market. Recently I’ve been cooking Chinese quite a bit, in fact I posted the Chicken noodles recipe as well few weeks back. So the next one I wanted to try with shrimps.

I was quite satisfied after cooking this recipe…. the dish turned out to have a great color and can be cooked in minutes! I was so happy that the next day I tried another Chinese recipe ‘Chicken in black bean sauce’ (which I’ll post next)!

If you have guests coming home, I feel this is the perfect recipe (provided your guest(s) are not allergic to shrimps) as it just cannot go wrong and has a lovely color. Do try it and I’m sure your guests will love it! Let me know if you’ve added any special touch to the recipe, I would love to try them out too 🙂

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Serves: 2 to 3

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes


Shrimps – 450 g, peeled and deveined

Cooking oil – 2 tablespoons

Garlic – 5 to 6 cloves, chopped

Green onion (Scallion) – 5 to 6 small, cut into 1 inch size

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For the sauce:

Bottled chilli sauce – 2 tablespoons

Bottled tomato sauce – 1 to 2 tablespoons

Bottled lemon chilli sauce – 1 tablespoon

Sugar – 1/2 to 1 teaspoon

Sesame Oil – 1 tablespoon

Cornflour or Cornstarch – 1 to 1.5 tablespoons mixed with around 1/2 cup of water

Salt – to taste

Mix all the above to make the sauce mixture.

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For the marinade:

Rice wine or Chinese cooking wine – 1.5 to 2 tablespoons

Sesame oil – 1 tablespoon

Minced ginger – 2 teaspoons

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Step 1: Mix all the marinade ingredients together to make the marinade mixture. Mix with the shrimps and marinade mixture and keep aside for around 10-15 minutes.

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Step 3: Heat oil in a wok or U shaped pan. Add garlic and the shrimps and fry for 1 to maximum 3 minutes until the shrimps develop a slight pinkish orange color.

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Step 4: Add the sauce mixture and cook until you get the desired thickness. Add salt for taste (as required).

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Step 5: Add the green onion. Stir (maximum for a minute) and transfer to a plate immediately. Serve hot with rice or noodles.

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A few tips:

  • If you don’t like it too spicy, use less amount of the chili sauce and more of the tomato sauce.
  • Add some vinegar if you like, before transferring from the wok/pan to the serving dish, as per your taste.