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Jaffna Eral Masala, Jaffna Style Prawn Curry

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Jaffna Eral Masala (Jaffna Style Prawn Curry) is a spicy Prawn preparation made with traditional Tamil spices, lemongrass and coconut milk.

  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x


  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 2 sprig curry leaves
  • 15 shallots, sliced (Indian sambar onions)
  • 1/4 inch piece ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass
  • 3 inch pandan leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup moringa leaves (use less if doing for first time)
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk (canned works fine)
  • 1/2 of a lime, juiced
  • 200 grams frozen ITC MasterChef Prawns


  1. Heat oil in a pan (I have used a clay pot today) and add in two tablespoon of coconut oil. When the oil is hot, add in the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, roughly chopped green chillies and a good dose of curry leaves. Let the mustard seeds crackle. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add in the sliced shallots (small onions).
  2. Add in the crushed ginger and garlic. Also add in the salt. The salt will help in cooking the shallots faster. Sauté till the shallots are soft and starting to brown.
  3. Add in all the spice powders at once.
  4. After the spice powders are added, do not fry for long. Sauté for a brief 20 seconds. Add in half a cup of water.
  5. Add in a few stalks of lemon grass and the thawed prawns.
  6. Cook the curry for 5-6 minutes. Cover the pot with a lid.
  7. Once the prawns are cooked, we will add in moringa leaves / murungai elai.
  8. Add in the coconut milk and the murungai elai / moringa leaves.
  9. Let the curry simmer briefly for a couple of minutes. Switch off the flame and add in the lime juice. The little acidity nicely balances the richness of coconut milk and spices.
  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Sri Lankan
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