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RECIPE: Chef Zana’s Durban Style Prawn Curry

Chef Zana’s Durban Style Prawn Curry.

Growing up in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, chef Farzana Alvarado was always surrounded by family who loved to cook and bake. Her late grandfather Ebrahim Roshee, who was a self-taught cook, played a vital role in her culinary career.

She’s slowly built her career as chef, food blogger, culinary consultant, caterer and poet. Alvarado says “culture” inspires her cooking especially when she prepares her Durban style prawn curry that definitely tastes like home.


Farzana Alvarado
  • 1kg prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 stem of curry leaf
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 heaped teaspoon fish masala
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 or 2 green chilli, split lengthwise
  • 5 large tomatoes, grated/liquidised
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Half cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Half a cup of chopped fresh coriander leaves


  1. Marinate prawns in 1 tablespoon of ginger garlic paste for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, and braise curry leaf, cinnamon, green chilli and onions until onions are translucent.
  3. Add the grated tomatoes, all the spices, and the remaining tablespoon of ginger garlic paste, and braise for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add in the tomato paste and sugar and cook for a minute before adding the lemon juice and water.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until water evaporates and gravy is thick.
  6. Now add the prawns and half of the coriander leaves, and with a wooden spoon fold curry gently over the prawns coating evenly. Cover the pot and on a low heat cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, and fold in the butter gently. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Garnish with the remaining coriander leaves.
  8. Serve with white rice.
3.3/5 (8 Reviews)