Pondicherry Prawns

Chilli Prawns

When it comes to seafood street dishes, I don’t think I’ve tasted any better than this prawn recipe, which I picked up from friends in Pondicherry on India’s east coast. Typically these prawns, which carry a gentle heat and a healthy addiction are served rough and ready in newspaper cones or waxed paper. However for this version we’ve pimped it and served it with a smooth coconut dressed red onion salad.

This chilli prawn recipe is a great snack, super quick and it articulates Southern India, hot, sharp and cool all at the same time. Genius!

Serves 2 as a snack

Spice Jacket

  • Juice of ¼ of a lime
  • ½ tsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2tsp rice flour
  • 1tsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp water
  • 150g raw king prawns
  • 3 tbs frying oil


  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ginger garlic paste
  • Juice of ¼ of a lime
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • Salt to season
Pondicherry chilli prawns

How To Make Chilli Prawns

To make the tarka, use a small pan and heat the oil over medium temperature and tip in the mustard seeds and wait until they pop. Now slide in the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes until it’s browned and then add the rest of the ingredients and turn the heat to low and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the tarka has dried a little and yields a feisty aroma.

For the spice jacket, simply mix the ingredients into a paste and toss the prawns through it. Using a frying pan, heat the oil over a medium temperature and fry the prawns for 3-4 minutes until lightly crispy. Add the prawns into the tarka pan and run through for a minute or two until the spices are clinging to the prawns and they’re looking jammy and irresistible.

Sprinkle with lightly fried curry leaves and serve with coconut onion salad.

pic frame

For recipes discoveries trends & secret suppers

Sometimes we need a bit of inspiration beyond ourselves. Hear how Spencer West climbed Kilimanjaro with no legs… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Stuck at home raiding the larder cupboard? Here’s an elegant way to turn that tin of #kidneybeans into spiced magic… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Proper treat for tea...#pierogi takes me back to my hometown Slough...the scent of #immigrant cuisine at work! pic.twitter.com/73K78xYhGf
What a combo a double #spice flurry to knock hunger into touch at lunchtime. Can you get the #Elior Tuk Tuk going w… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Urban Rajah
close The Urban Rajahs Curry Memoirs

The Urban Rajahs Curry Memoirs
personally signed

£17.00 (+ £3.00 UK postage)

Buy Now Read more