Takeaway Alternative: Fresh Prawn & Spinach Curry

Hooray! Another cooking video! This time I’m looking at a really quick and easy takeaway (takeout) alternative – the healthy curry. I am OBSESSED with homemade curries – I have every spice in the book and I probably make a curry at least once or twice a week. I’m not talking “tikka masala” here or whatever crud-in-an-oily-plastic-tub gets delivered from your local Indian (some are good but let’s face it: most are not), I’m talking fresh ingredients cooked briskly into a healthy and nutritious supper. Or lunch – whichever you prefer.

You’ll see that I add a huge spoonful of full fat yoghurt to my plate at the end – this just makes the dish, I swear! I love a dollop of plain yoghurt with spicy food, but you don’t have to make this spicy – I have added just one chilli for the sake of demonstration, but you could add a half or a quarter, or, if you’re a spice-addict like me, you can add three or four! Whoo.

Swap the prawns for chicken if you like – allow 125g-ish per person, or more if you’re hungry or want a higher-protein dish. If you haven’t got any fresh tomatoes, you can use tinned, but you won’t get the light, fresh taste of this recipe. You can use frozen spinach, too, if you like – if you use frozen spinach ¬†and prawns and then tinned tomatoes this becomes a recipe that you can make almost entirely from store-cupboard ingredients.

The method and ingredients list is below the video box – if you’d like to subscribe to the Youtube Channels then the main channel is here: A Model Recommends and the vlog channel is here: Model Vlogs

Recipe for the Light and Fresh Prawn and Spinach Curry

Serves 2

Remember that you can increase or decrease the amount of rice that you use, the amount of chilli and the number of prawns. If you increase the rice, you’re bulking up the calories, but prawns are very lean and the chilli won’t make any difference in terms of “healthiness”.

200-250g of Large Prawns – cooked or raw, tails on or off as you prefer. You can also swap for chicken.

100-125g of Easy-Cook Basmati Rice

1 Onion

2 Cloves of Garlic

1 Large Red Chilli (or more or less as you prefer!)

1 large handful of fresh coriander (optional)

1 bag of young spinach OR normal spinach OR frozen spinach. Can’t have too much spinach!

1 heaped teaspoon of each: Garam Masala, Turmeric, Cumin and Ground Coriander

3 large tomatoes OR half a tin of chopped tomatoes if you have to!

1-2 tbsp cooking oil (I used Rapeseed)

Pinch of salt (optional)

1) Chop your chilli and garlic very finely OR pop them into a mini-chopper (mine is Kenwood) and blitz until they are tiny. Then finely chop the onion or add it to the mini chopper and “pulse”. DO NOT overprocess the onion – it will go weird and liquidy!

2) Add your oil to the pan on a medium heat then fry off your spices. Don’t let them burn! You can take the pan immediately from the heat and the residual heat will be enough. Add your onion and chilli and garlic and fry for a few minutes until the onion is cooked. Keep stirring all of the time so that nothing sticks to the pan!

3) Add your chopped tomatoes. Fresh is so much better for this particular curry – it’s kind of the point of it, really! But if you don’t have them then of course use tinned. Stir them about and the juices will start to come out and form a gravy. You will need to add some water – I added a small glassful in total – probably less than 100ml. Just add it gradually when the whole thing looks too dry!

4) Put your rice on. My basmati takes 9 minutes – I boil a kettle-ful of water and makes sure that it’s back to the boil in the pan before adding the rice, Then I set the timer and reduce the water to a simmer, after 9 mins it’s perfect! I use lots more water than I need, which isn’t strictly the proper way to do rice, but if you want that “fluffy” effect then after you’ve drained it, pop it back in the pan (no heat) with the lid on for a minute or two and it steams it up nicely!)

5) Add your spinach leaves to the curry. They cook down quickly but you have to keep “folding” them in so that they get juice on them and cook down! If you prefer you can chop your spinach, but I like to keep the baby leaves whole. Older spinach will need chopping up and also need longer to cook down – if using older spinach or frozen, put that in before you put the rice on.

6) 4-5 mins before the rice is done, you can add your chopped fresh coriander and then about 3 mins before the rice is done, add your prawns. If the prawns are raw, they need to be pink ALL OVER before they are cooked. And all the way through – cut the largest one open and check before you serve. Pre-cooked prawns need to be piping hot all the way through. You don’t want to overcook the prawns, though – they go as hard as bullets!

7) Serve rice onto each plate once it’s done and then the curry beside/over the top. Add a dollop of full-fat yoghurt if you like, I ALWAYS have yoghurt with my curries! I also have my curry really, really spicy so the yoghurt is a necessity for me!


  1. @ Rachel. I think she just used the ginger pot to demonstrate the smaller pots of spices that you can buy.

  2. Looks yummy, going to make it tonight, after watching this yesterday.

  3. Just about to make this recipe for the second time. thanks for sharing it Ruth!

  4. I am in love with this recipe and make it constantly! Thank you for sharing xx

  5. How long does prawn has to be cooked for so it’s soft and nice? I mean fresh prawn. And in what way? Boiled in water, steamed or cooked in oven..? which way it’s best, mine always gets too hard.

  6. Hi Ruth!

    I was wondering if you remove the seeds from your chilis or if you leave them in?

  7. This looks delicious! Definatly going to give it a try. A sad question but where is your pink knife from? I love it!

  8. CaitlinConfidential

    I just made this recipe tonight and it was so delicious! I put some mango chutney on the side along with the yogurt! The whole thing was so flavorful, fresh! This will definitely be come a staple dinner dish.

  9. This looks so tasty! I noticed a pot of dried ginger (I think) in the video, but no mention in the recipe – did you add any?

    And agree with Naomi’s suggestion above, would love it if you did a food diary!

  10. This was absolutely delicious-I made it with prawns and will try it with chicken next. Thanks so much!

  11. I made this for my fella Friday night (always nervous to cook for him because he’s a really good cook!) and it was amazing. So easy and tasty! Thanks for the tip :-) I’d be really interested if you did a food diary post sometime (i.e. what meals you eat in an average day). I’m feeling a little uninspired about mealtimes lately (especially office packed lunches)… x

  12. Love this! So much so we have had it two nights this week, one of those days I swapped prawns for salmon which worked well. I have also made your delicious pasta. Please can you give us more recipes.

  13. This is a totally unrelated question to the recipe, but I’d love to know where you get your salad spinner… it’s really elegant for what’s often such a naff kitchen item. x

    • A friend actually gave that to me! I’ll ask her – it was one she was chucking out! x

      • Thank you – I’m aware that it’s a really sad sounding question, but I couldn’t help but ask anyway. To be honest, I’m a vegan and so wouldn’t even eat a prawn recipe, but I watched the video because I’m such a kitchen voyeur.

  14. kirsty forsberg

    Made it. Loved it! Although at the last minute I realised we were out of frozen spinach, so I substituted with some tiny fresh cauliflower florets and frozen green beans which worked a treat. Also used frozen raw prawns too….Served it with a mix of brown and red rice. A delicious and light summer curry and one I’ll be using regularly, cheers Ruth x

  15. I love curries too – particularly my sweet potato, spinach and chickpea curry, and I also make a lower fat version of chicken korma which is absolutely delicious. I buy all my spices whole and grind them up in a coffee grinder specially bought for this purpose. Coriander currently growing in pots on the window sill. This recipe looks yum too – will definitely be giving it a go! xx

  16. We tried this last night, and loved it, although I had a bit of a panic attack when I was cooking it and it was so much hotter than I would normally eat! The yoghurt really works and kind of completes the dish. I have also tried the aubergene recipe and loved that too. We had that last week end instead of a takeaway and I added mushrooms and pancetta, my favourite foods and were just naughty enough to feel indulgent. However the origional dish is lovely on its own and we will cook that most of the time.

  17. Hi I only discovered your blog yesterday and I’ve practically been up all nite reading your stuff. I made this dish today with just a few little changes for tomorrow nite.

    It is so easy to make and so very delicious!!!! Thank you for sharing and may I say that you are absolutely stunning!! X

  18. Thanks Ruth! I’m exercising 5/6 times a week atm, so I need to eat a lot of protein. It’s really easy to be boring with it, but this curry with twice the amount of prawns/chicken sounds great :-)

    • @BBurns OR, you could also add lentils or chickpeas to up the protein, that would add a bit more interest. xx

  19. Looks so nice! Will definitely try this when it’s my turn to cook next… Thanks, Ruth xxx

  20. I will try this tonight. It sounds great

  21. Making. It. TONIGHT!!!

    U look gorgeous in this vid babes xoxo

  22. Yum! I’m going to give this a go at the weekend. I’ve been wanting to make a home made curry for ages that didn’t require 30 different ingredients. Perfect timing as always Ruth! :)

  23. That sounds absolutely delicious and so healthy! I love the way you write this recipe, offering alternatives and recommendations to get it ‘just right’. I will definitely be trying it!

    Would love for you to check out my blog; it’s fairly new but essentially an amalgamation of my most ridiculous diary entries (with illustrations) from growing up in the 90’s!

  24. just made this for early dinner…yes it is dinner time down here at the bottom of the south Pacific… Highly recommend!! Lovely alternative to curries with coconut milk in them. Fresh and delish :) Thanks for sharing