norman chef malaysian chef

Aromatic Seafood Curry

By Chef Norman Musa

norman chef malaysian chef


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 star anise
  • 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves (or 2 bay leaves)
  • 4 raw king prawns – shells and heads on
  • 150g mussels, in their shells
  • 100-150g squid tubes, scored
  • 50ml coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon lime juice

For the paste:

  • 2 shallots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2.5 cm fresh turmeric (or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • 2.5cm ginger
  • 5 dried chillies, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
  • ¾ teaspoon shrimp paste, dry toasted

For the mix spice:

  • 1 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds


Blitz the paste ingredients together with a little water if necessary, in a food processor or using a hand blender, then transfer to a bowl. Add the ground spices and mix thoroughly

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat and cook the star anise, cinnamon, cloves and curry leaves, until fragrant. Add the paste mix and cook for 2 minutes. Now add the prawns, mussels (discarding any that are open and do not close when tapped) and squid, along with 150ml water. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the prawns turn pink, the mussels open and the squid curls up. Discard any mussels that have not opened.

Add the coconut milk and salt, give it all a good stir and cook for a further minute. Finally add the lime juice, give it another stir and turn the heat off. Transfer to a serving dish and serve straight away.

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