Easy Pan Fried Jumbo Prawns Recipe



Dan Toombs is a businessman based in North Yorkshire. This year he’s eating Indian cuisine every day and documenting it on his curry website. www.greatcurryrecipes.net

There’s something about the sweet taste of fresh prawns coated with a light, savoury spice-dusted sauce. I’ve been making this recipe for years and will never grow tired of it. I chose it specially for Chaat! readers because it’s fun to serve and the ingredients are easy to find. Opposites definitely attract when cooking good Indian food. I’ve used cooling yoghurt blended with hot spices like black pepper, cumin, red chilli powder and garam masala that work so well together. These exciting flavours, blended with the satisfying bite of green chilli, ginger and garlic, and then topped with one last squeeze of lemon juice results in an absolutely delicious curry. Pan fried jumbo prawns can be served dry as a starter or covered in the peppery marinade and served with rice as a main course. Enjoy!


  • Marinade Ingredients
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) plain yoghurt
  • 1 heaped tbsp white cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic – smashed
  • 1 inch piece of ginger – grated
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Main ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter or ghee
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • Lemon or lime wedges to serve
  • 1 tsp garam masala

Preparation Time: 15 minutes plus marinating time
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2, as a starter
(See below for main course suggestion)

I like to serve prawns in the shell. The shells add a lot of flavour to the sauce, but you can peel the prawns if you prefer. Whatever you choose to do, take a sharp knife and make a shallow incision down the back of each prawn and remove the black intestine. In a large dry frying pan, dry fry the cumin seeds over medium heat. Move the pan around as you cook so that the seeds roast evenly. When the cumin begins to smoke, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the seeds to a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Grind the cumin into a fine powder. Place the cumin powder and the rest of the marinade ingredients in a blender and blend to a smooth paste. Cover the  prawns with the marinade and allow to sit for about an hour. Melt the butter in the frying pan over medium heat and add the chopped onions. Fry until the onions turn translucent and lightly browned. Add the chopped green chillies and fry for a further minute. Scrape most of the marinade off the prawns and add them to the onions. Cook until the prawns turn pink and are just cooked through. At this point you could add about a tablespoon or two if the remaining marinade to the prawns to coat them if you like. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped coriander, a squeeze of lemon juice and the garam masala.

To serve as a main course
Double the ingredients and cook exactly as above but instead of adding just a little yogurt marinade, add it all and serve over rice.

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