Zn[(L)proline]2 was used as an efficient catalyst for the one-pot multicomponent reactions (MCR) of different aromatic amines, aromatic aldehyde and ketones in aqueous media. This method provides a novel and improved method for obtaining stereoselective β-amino carbonyl compounds in terms of good yield. Little catalyst loading, recyclability, easy accessibility of the catalyst and aqueous media are the main features of this protocol. Moreover column chromatography and recrystallization of product are not required as the crude product itself is very pure. Powder XRD and TEM images of the catalyst were taken for the first time. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.