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Prawns Curry(Sungta ambat)

Back in India, since I am from a coastal area, we get very fresh fish. So I never liked the fish we used to get in Bangalore, because they had bad smell. Prawns and Crabs are always my favorites compared to fish. I still remember.. my parents used to get a lot of fish, prawns when they used to visit us in Bangalore. It used to be a feast when they were with us.

So from many days, I wanted to buy some fish here and try out.

Last weekend when we went to Price Choppers, I just went near the fish section, hoping to find some familiar fish. But unfortunately there were none. I had never heard the names of fishes they had. Finally I found Prawns, they had 3 types of prawns. I bought the one, which looked similar to what we get in India. I called up my aayi and asked for the delicious prawn curry recipe, which she always makes. The curry was too good. I felt like I was sitting in my native and eating the curry served by aayi. So I have decided to buy some fish at least once in 15 days, even though they are very very expensive here.

Here the prawns I got were very big ones,unlike the small and tasty ones we used to get in my native.

1 cup prawns/shrimps
1 cup fresh/frozen coconut
1/2 cup onion
5 red chillies
1 green chili
1 tea spn coriander seeds
2 pieces dried kokum or 1/4th tea spn tamarind extract

Heat oil and fry coriander seeds. Grind with coconut and red chillies to a very smooth paste.
Heat oil and fry chopped onions till they turn slightly brownish. Add prawns/shrimps and fry for some time(till the prawns become white in color, this enhances the taste of the curry).
Add the ground masala, green chili(slitted) and kokum/tamarind(In the traditional recipe kokum is used, since I was not having that I used tamarind extract). Add salt and sufficient water. Cook till completely done.
Serve hot with rice.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30min

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{ 35 comments… add one }

  • Preeti March 9, 2006, 3:18 pm

    This is my favourite!! I can eat sea food forever!
    Shilpa, you get good and fresh fish/sea food in any chinese/ east asian store.Look for these stores in your area.They are also cheaper compared to the american places. Also,amongst the fish, Kingfish (surmai), mackerel and sometimes Tilapia will go well with a konkani recipe. The salmon may just pass in its taste if you Rava fry it.

    If you need more information on the groceries available here, drop me a line.


  • Shilpa March 9, 2006, 4:17 pm

    Preeti, Thanks for the information. Infact we recently found one city market here which has some chinese shops, where we could by Pomfret and Mackerel. But still I feel their taste is not as good as the fish we get in India.

  • js March 10, 2006, 1:21 pm

    Very delicious looking prawn curry! Will have to try your recipe. I was wondering how to use kokum. Do I soak it in hot water and leave it there for a couple of minutes before using it or can I throw the whole kokum into the curry to cook? Thanks

  • Shilpa March 10, 2006, 2:46 pm

    Hi Js,
    Thanks for your comment.
    You have to just cut the Kokam in 2 big pieces and throw in the curry to cook.


  • js March 14, 2006, 12:49 pm

    Thanks Shilpa for the reply.

  • Gayathri March 17, 2006, 11:14 am

    I am from Udupi, based now in the Bay Area of CA. I too love amchigele food and all the 3 of us (my husband, my daughter and I) love sea food. My husband is an avid cook too. We prepare prawn curry a little differently. Last weekend we followed your recipe for the curry and the results were yummy.
    Please do continue posting your collection of amchigele recipes. Thanks!

  • Shilpa March 17, 2006, 11:19 am

    Gayatri, I am very happy to know that you liked the prawn curry. My whole idea of staring this blog was to share amchigele recipes. Now since I love cooking, I keep trying a lot of things and I thought about sharing them too.
    Keep visiting :).

  • sujeet April 1, 2006, 8:24 pm

    Hiii Shilpa, I am a forced bachelor for sometime now. I tried your mom’s recipie…i must tell u am a amature cook …but hey i could master the recepie immediately ! It just turned out to be amazing. I had a great dinner yest thanx to the recepie.


  • Shalini May 10, 2006, 2:46 pm

    yumm yummm yummmmmmmm! I am going to try it next week. It looks delicious!

  • shilpa May 10, 2006, 2:52 pm

    Sujeet,Thanks for the comment.
    Shalini, do let me know if you like the curry :).

  • shalini May 25, 2006, 11:03 am

    Hi Shilpa! I tried this the other day and we all loved it! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I am eyeing your fish masala curry now. Will let you know how that turned out next.

  • Shri September 23, 2006, 7:06 am

    I am a bachelor staying by himself and after a very busy 2 months I found some time to cook for myself which i just love.
    My mom is from goa and she had given me a similar recipe a year ago which i lost.

    I tried your recipe and it was almost same like mom’s. Please keep it up…..

  • Medha November 3, 2006, 7:45 am

    Hi Shilpa
    I made Sungta ambat and it was really good ..i guess even the green chilly gives it a good flavour ..i make Sungta ambat with tepal wherein i grind half coconut with lil corriander seeds, 5/6 flakes of garlic and red chillies (bedgi), small tamarind ( amend it a lil as per ur tastes) . Make a fine paste and add water as reqd to make curry .Now boil the masala by adding 6/7 crushed tepals and salt and then add prawns ..In Mumbai i used to boil the prawns in lil water and then add masala ..Try it out Hope ull like it !

  • Medha November 3, 2006, 7:47 am

    and sorry at the time of boiling the curry put 2 small kokum’s in it ..

  • Shubhada December 28, 2006, 4:45 am

    Do you make variations of this prawn curry. Goan GSBs make a lot of variety. Prawns with sango(drumsticks), prawns with aambade(a sour fruit peeled and crushed), prawns cooked with raw onions and hing etc. I liked your recipe very much. Why don’t u publish a recipe book?

  • Smita February 2, 2007, 11:22 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    I made this prawns curry. It turned out to be very tasty. My husband loved it. It is very simple and easy. But just one small thing the colour of the curry i made was not red. It was more whitish. Could it be because of the chillies I used? I used the long red chillies. What kind of chillies do you use ?


  • Shilpa February 3, 2007, 7:52 am

    Smitha, use Byadagi chilies(from Karnataka) or Kashmiri chilies for all the gravies. Byadagi chilies are usually available in Indian groceries. If you are in IndiA, they are available in almost all shops in Bangalore.

  • Smita February 3, 2007, 8:49 am

    Thanks Shilpa for a prompt reply. I appreciate it.

    Few days back I had requested for ‘mangalorean mackerel curry’. Can you please post recipe for that as well?

    We had eaten that heavenly curry once at a friend’s place. Unfortunately she was unwilling to share details of the recipe. She had learnt it from her Mangalorean Shetty neighbors. She vaguely mentioned following ingredients: coconut, onion, tamarind, byadagi mirchi. I know this is not of much help. It was a red, spicy, very delicious curry. She served it with rice. She also said that the gravy tastes best with mackerels only. It’s quite different than the recipe for mangalorean masala fish you have posted.

    Thanks again

  • Shilpa February 3, 2007, 1:30 pm

    Smitha, I don’t really know about Mangalore dishes. We make meckeral gravy like this

  • Devyani February 9, 2007, 6:12 pm

    I tried this recipe….its Yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Aayi’s recipe is always a hit!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sabita April 4, 2007, 11:52 am

    Hi shilpa i tried your recipie & it was GREAT!

  • sabita April 6, 2007, 11:47 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    My son is going off to college do you have a good shrimp pickle recipie ?(andhra style)
    I am a punjabi. If you need any punjabi recipies i would love to share it with you’ll

  • Gopal June 20, 2007, 3:33 pm

    Hey Shilpa
    Nice curry recipe. I make a konkani variation of it.
    Grated coconut is blended with tamarind, roasted red pepper and little haldi.
    The resulting mixture is boiled, the shrimp added, salt and quite a good amount of hing. After it is cooked.. sprinkle a tablespoon or two of coconut oil on top.
    Give it a try sometime, it goes really well with boiled rice (if you can get it ) and some fried fish. If you like, I can tell you how I make the fried fish too.


    Shilpa: Thanks Gopal. I have the version you have mentioned on the site. Have a look. It indeed tastes great. The ambat recipe in this post is what we Konkanis follow at my native.

  • kanchana dhamodharan September 26, 2007, 6:42 pm

    hey shilpa, nice curry-if you want more taste add two raw mangos and two drum sticks it will be so nice,try.

  • Priti Shenai January 31, 2008, 6:12 pm

    Hi Shilpa, I tried today your sungta ambat and it turned out really good. We are a pakka fish lovers and my Ajji who used to cook this recipe (just a little differently) is from Belgaum. Well let me tell you the difference, she would fry the dhane seeds in a little more oil. Then take just the seeds out and in the remaining oil, add four-five drops of coconut oil and then fry onions and green chilli on it before adding the sungat and then the masala. According to her this gives it a unique taste and believe me when I tell you, it actually enhances the flavour. So do try it & let me know. Another Amchigele angle…Keep up the good work, you reminded me of so many recipes that I had somewhere at the back of my memory lane.

  • Naveen February 15, 2008, 7:45 pm

    I made your prawn curry recipie, with dessicated onion, without the red chillis and with frozen powdered coconut. It came out good, but a bit bland – I’ll have to get the red chillis next time!

  • Anjali Muzumdar July 25, 2008, 5:25 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    I was wondering if one could substitute coconut milk for the grated coconut and if yes, what is the proportion? Thanks. The curry syre looks yummy.

    Shilpa: I don’t think the store bought coconut milk is a good substitute. It has a very unique smell and would spoil this gravy.

  • drresham November 16, 2008, 5:53 am

    hi Shilpa,u got a good collection of recipes.I am a lazy lump whn its cooking time.this has turned out well a/c to me ,let me c wat my hubby has 2 say.thanx.

  • rekha November 26, 2008, 7:23 pm

    hi. i just finished making prawn curry,the color was not reddish ,as i followed your recipe exactly,but i didn’t have badaygi chilles i used kashmiri chillies.
    i liked it ,ihope my husband likes it. actually is from karwar &iam a hindu ,so when i stummbled upon your blogg, i just wanted to try it out.iam in canada,ontario
    sometimes one doesn’t get the ing.i don’t know from where i will get teppal.
    do u have any recipes for beef,pork. if you do pls send it to me on my e-mail—- rekharozario@hotmail.com.

  • Wera Wernicke January 9, 2009, 12:17 pm

    Hallo again Shilpa, I can’t stop going through your recipes. I am reading them and printing the ones that are convenient for me to prepare. In the Prwan recipe for example, can I substitute canned coconut milk instead of grinding the fresh coconut?

    Shilpa: Wera, there will be a considerable taste difference if you use coconut milk.

  • Anshu February 6, 2009, 8:36 am

    Can you please mail the recipe of ripe mango Aambade which also contains some jaggery i guess.

  • Seema Pai October 3, 2009, 11:45 am

    Hi Shilpa,

    Do you have a recipe for Kurlya Aambat (Crab Curry) ?

    Thanks and Best Regards,
    Seema Pai

    • Shilpa October 3, 2009, 7:40 pm

      Please check under crabs category

  • Sonia November 2, 2010, 9:43 am

    Smitha (Reg comment 2007 of a Mangalorean Fish curry), if it is Mangalorean Shetty you are talking about “Puli Munchi” (aka Meet Mirsang amongst Catholics). Very distinct and an amazing taste. Will post it in a couple of days.

  • Ganesh Shenoy May 6, 2012, 7:26 am

    Hi Shilpa,

    After trying your sungta upkari receipe, this week we tried your Egg curry receipe.. its very helpfull for amature cooks like me.. thanks for sharing the receipe…


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