If you’re a seafood lover, you have to try this Sri Lankan prawn/Isso curry recipe. It’s spicy, creamy, and full of flavors.
Sri Lankan prawn curry or “Isso hodi” is one of my favorite things in the world to eat. I love how versatile the curry is since I can pair it up with anything. You can have it with rice or bread or even with coconut roti. I also make this curry to make the famous Sri Lankan street food, Kottu too. My favorite way to eat this curry is with warm rice and Sri Lankan coconut sambol.
I always like to use prawns with their shells since those shells add a lot of flavor to the broth. As you already know, we Sri Lankans use our hands when we eat. So deshelling is not a problem when you eat with your hands. But you can always remove the shells if you want. Make sure to reduce the cooking time a little bit since prawns can cook a bit faster without their shells. You can use shrimp too since they taste the same. (You know they’re not the same right?)
Since we are not going to cook the prawns longer like we do with meat varieties, it’s important that you develop flavors before you add prawns to the pan/pot to cook. So toasting the spices with oil and cooking down the tomato is very important in this recipe. You need to toast the spices until they’re at the edge of burning to develop really good flavors. If you’re worrying that you might burn the spices then you can always turn off the heat when you add the spices. I got to warn you though, the curry is quite spicy. I’m trying to keep it authentic so I did not reduce the amount of spices I usually add when I write the recipe. So if you know you can’t handle heat, then definitely reduce the amount of chili powder you use. Or you can use some paprika instead.
Also don’t forget to add lemon juice at the end. It adds a whole new freshness to the curry. Also prawns/shrimp and lemon are a match made in heaven. They go really well together. The black pepper also add a really nice peppery flavor to the curry. I sometimes sprinkle some black pepper on top as a garnish too.
You might find the ingredient list for this Sri Lankan prawn/isso curry recipe is a little longer and intimidating. But the steps are really easy. So I really hope you’d give this recipe a try. I promise you that you wouldn’t be disappointed.
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