Bowl of prawn curry garnished with coriander leaves
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3.5 from 18 votes

Prawn Dhansak

This one-pot Dhansak curry with red lentils and shrimp (prawns) makes a delicious and protein-packed family meal. Slimming World Friendly with minor modifications. Serve with rice and naan bread or simply on its own.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Dhansak, Prawn Curry, Prawn Dhansak, Shrimp curry, Slimming World Curry
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 469kcal
Author: Lucy Parissi | Supergolden Bakes


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee for frying or use low calorie cooking spray
  • 2 onions peeled and finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar or sweetener for SW version (optional)
  • 1 green chilli finely diced
  • 4 cardamom pods lightly crushed
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200 g | 1 cup red lentils rinsed
  • 450 g | 1 pound raw peeled prawns (shrimp) defrosted if frozen
  • 400 g | 14oz tinned chopped tomatoes or you can use 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 625 ml | 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock more if needed
  • 400 g | 14oz tin pineapple chunks in juice or fresh pineapple (OPTIONAL)
  • 1/2 lemon juice only
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped to garnish
  • pinch red chilli flakes to garnish


  • Heat the oil (or use ghee for a more authentic version) in a large pan. Fry the spices, ginger and chillies for a couple of minutes over medium-high heat until the mustard seeds start to pop.Take care the spices don’t burn.
    SLIMMING WORLD VERSION: Dry fry the spices in a non stick pan until aromatic.
  • Lower the heat and add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until softened.
    SLIMMING WORLD VERSION: use low calorie cooking spray instead of oil.
  • Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add the red lentils and stir. Add the stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, pineapple (if using), and sugar (or sweetener).
  • Bring to the boil. Lower the heat, partially cover the pan  and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are quite soft - about 20 minutes.
  • Add the prawns and lemon juice and stir them in. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Check if you need to top up with water if the pan is too dry and food is sticking.
  • Check the seasoning and adjust if needed. Garnish with chopped coriander (cilantro) and red chilli flakes.
  • Serve with basmati rice and naan bread or simply on its own.



This curry is suitable for Slimming World with very minor modifications – using cooking spray such as Fry Light instead of oil, sweetener instead of sugar and fresh pineapple instead of tinned.
Not only is this curry SYN FREE, it’s also very filling and satisfying. Make a large batch so you can enjoy the leftovers, it tastes even better the following day. Serve over brown rice to up the fibre content!
Please note I am not affiliated in any way with Slimming World. Syn values are based on the Slimming World online calculator.
Nutritional information is always approximate, and will depend on quality of ingredients and serving sizes.


Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 2069mg | Potassium: 1134mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 35.7mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 6.6mg