The prawns are cooked in a thick coconut milk gravy with whole spices for a strong, flavorful dish. You will find prawn malaikari as a part of the menu in many Bong (Bengali) parties in the U.S.

We highly recommend making this flavorful dish with the prawn heads on, as they add another dimension of seafood flavor to this already delectable preparation. If you are not used to preparing prawns and cleaning prawn heads, don’t worry. You can still make a wonderful variation by shelling, deveining, and removing the heads of the prawns.


  • 2 pounds large ​prawns (also called tiger prawns)
  • 2 large onions
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 green chilies
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons single cream
  • Garnishfresh coriander leaves
  • For Serving: jeera or 

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Carefully wash, shell, and devein the prawns, leaving the heads intact.
  3. Add the onions, tomatoes, and green chilies to a food processor  and process to form a paste.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add the paste. Fry for a minute.
  5. Add the garlic paste  and ginger paste and fry for another minute.
  6. Add the garam masala, coriander, and cumin and cook until the oil begins to separate from the mixture.
  7. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste.
  8. Add the prawns and cook for another 2 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream.
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with jeera rice or plain boiled rice.

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