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23rd February 2023

The best prawn and spinach bhuna recipe

This is the only prawn and spinach bhuna you need for a bit of comfort, greens and the perfect sampling of rice. The perfect end to a long day.
The best prawn and spinach bhuna recipe
Photo: Faaiza Akbor @ The Mancunion

Before sending me off to university, my mother taught me a few curry recipes, which I always eat at home for comfort. Prawns have always been my favourite, and this prawn and spinach bhuna recipe is my go-to. It’s especially good for when I’m craving something hearty and delicious while also eating some greens. 

A bhuna is a type of curry that is richer in spices and has a drier sauce. For some of the ingredients (such as the spices, bay leaves and coriander) I highly recommend getting them from your local international store. Thankfully, there’s a great selection in Manchester! It’s definitely cheaper to buy your spices there (I recommend the brand East End) and they have a great selection of frozen foods, that’s where I like to buy my frozen king prawns from.


1 pack of king prawns
1 medium onion (diced)
4/3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tomato (diced)
Half a bag of baby spinach
2 bay leaves
2 green chillies
Fresh coriander

Spice mix:
1 tsp of chilli powder (or less depending on how spicy you want it to be)
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp of coriander powder


  1. Put the temperature on high heat and add four tablespoons of vegetable oil to a deep pan. Once the oil has heated up add your onions, garlic, and bay leaves along with 1 ½ teaspoons of salt.
  2. Stir that together and let it simmer on medium heat. Put the lid on the pan for a few minutes until the onions have softened and caramelised. 
  3. Once your onions have softened, add in the spice mix, chillies, and tomatoes.
  4. Add half a cup of water and stir well (if you feel like it’s sticking to the pan or burning, add a little more water and keep stirring).
  5. Put the lid back on for a few minutes to let the spices cook. It should look like a thick paste.
  6. Once the water has dried up, add all of your prawns. Fold the prawns into the spice and make sure that all the prawns are coated in the sauce. 
  7. The prawns should release some natural liquids. Wait for those to dry up too.
  8. Once the prawns have cooked and the paste looks thicker, add another half a cup of water.
  9. Stir that well and let it simmer. Once the sauce starts to thicken, add half a bag of baby spinach.
  10. Lightly stir and then put the lid on to let the spinach soften. 
  11. Once you can see some oil rising to the top, that means all your ingredients are cooked.
  12. Garnish with some coriander (or a lot).

I like to eat this with white basmati rice and a slice of lemon. The key to nice fluffy white rice is simply not to touch it!

Here’s my guide to making a pot of boiled white rice:

  1. Add one cup of rice and wash thoroughly until the water is translucent. 
  2. Drain the starchy water and add one cup of fresh water (it should be an equal rice-to-water ratio).
  3. Let that boil on high heat.
  4. Once it starts bubbling and rising, put it on the lowest heat.
  5. Put the lid on and let it cook.
  6. Once you think it has cooked, stir it lightly. 
  7. If there is no water left, that means the rice is ready.


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