Frozen vs fresh prawns: Which are better for curry?
If you can't get your hands on fresh prawns, you can still prepare seafood curry using either uncooked or pre-cooked frozen prawns.
The pros of using frozen prawns over fresh ones are price and convenience.
The cost of any frozen fish is always lower than freshly caught fish, as the latter lasts only a couple of days when stored in optimal conditions, while the former can last months. Moreover, fresh seafood is harder to source for some countries or states and impossible for others. The short life of sea produce and sourcing problems causes significant logistical hurdles to sellers, which inevitably results in higher prices.
On top of that, once you get fresh prawns, you have to clean them, which means more work for you. Frozen prawns with their shell removed instead are ready for use with little effort.
Although fresh prawns will cost you more and require extra work, they will yield a prettier and more flavoursome curry without a doubt.
You can keep a few prawns with the shell on for decoration, as these won't shrink when cooked. Moreover, fresh prawns will release all their juice when cooked, enriching the curry with a briny fragrance you simply won't get from the frozen counterparts.
Fresh prawns are also more versatile. For example, you can use the shells to make fish-stock, helping you offset the higher price.
In conclusion, if you are making this dish to make an impression, go the extra mile and get some fresh prawns. Otherwise, you can still get a delicious and satisfying meal by using frozen produce.
What vegetables go well with prawn curry?
To make prawns stand out in curry, we need to pair them with mild veggies that can complement their delicate flavour.
We like using sweet potatoes whenever we want to add creaminess to our dishes but want some other ingredient flavour to triumph. Colour is another reason why we opted for sweet potatoes. The orange from the tubers will add more depth to the yellow curry powder and give the stew a bright and earthy look.
Good alternatives to sweet potatoes are other sweet, delicate vegetables.
To stay in tone with our recipe, you could use squash or pumpkin. Butternut squash is an excellent vegetable for curries, with creamy flesh and a sweet, nutty flavour.
For an even milder curry, you could instead use courgettes. Courgettes are even milder than sweet potatoes and probably the best companion to prawns in recipes. Due to their high water content, zucchinis don't make creamy soups or curries. You can compensate for this using other ingredients, like potatoes that are good for mashes or potato starch.
Want to add more Jamaican flavour to your prawn curry? Swap sweet potatoes with eddoes and chayotes, and replace our fresh chilli peppers with scotch bonnet chilli.
Can I freeze and reheat prawn sweet potato curry?
Whether you want to make it ahead or have any leftovers, this prawn curry is perfect for freezing and reheating any time you need a quick and tasty midweek meal.
Before you store this stew in the freezer, allow to cool down for at least 30 minutes, possibly covered.
Then, transfer the stew into a freezer-friendly container, like a tight seal box or a zip lock bag, filling it at two-thirds to avoid any leaks. It's a good idea to pack it already into meal-size portions so that you'll reheat only the servings you plan to eat.
Once frozen, this sweet potato stew can last for up to 2-3 months.
To warm it up, allow thawing in the fridge for at least 8 hours. For example, you can take it out of the freezer on the night before to have it ready for lunch, or in the morning for a quick dinner fix.
If your container is suitable for microwaves, then just reheat the curry for 5 minutes at medium power. Alternatively, you can transfer this shrimp stew into a pan, add a splash of water, and cook until softened. We would recommend this option over the microwave, as it gives you better control.
However, if you're really in a hurry and don't have time to defrost it, then you can just cook it right away from the freezer.
Whatever heating method you choose, try not to overcook the prawns as they will shrink and become chewy.
What to serve with sweet potatoes and prawns curry?
To balance out this meal with a source of carbohydrates, you can serve this sweet potato prawn curry with rice, noodles, or bread.
There are many side dishes you can serve with this curry. Let's take a look at a few of them.
The traditional way to eat curry in the Indian food culture is to serve it with a type of bread called roti or naan, flatbreads which are used to scoop the curry out the bowl.
In Thai cuisine instead, curry is usually accompanied by a bowl of steamed rice. You can use long-grain basmati rice or short-grain sticky rice. For a healthier alternative you can try serving this prawn stew with brown rice, it's lower in calories and packed with fibres.
Noodles are another option. For example, rice or udon noodles are a great choice, but we like soba noodles best. They are made from buckwheat, a gluten-free grain that is well known for stabilising blood sugars.
If you're opting for either rice or noodles as a side dish to this shrimp curry, make sure you cook them separately so they won't get soggy. Then, only add them to the broth once you're ready to eat.
Another alternative is cauliflower rice which is made by blitzing or grating the raw florets into couscous-like grains. You will get a crunchy and filling rice-like side for your curry with minimal carbs.
If you're on a weight loss plan or following a low carb diet, then you can serve this dish with a leafy green salad or steamed vegetables like green beans or broccoli. Also, check out our FAQ above for more tasty ideas.