Spicy Kerala Prawn Roast

This recipe is a modified version of one of the first recipes I ever made. It’s simple and uses only a few readily available ingredients. Step up on the heat if you like, with more pepper or chilli powder. Not much can go wrong in this recipe.

Things you will need:

  • Prawns- 500 grams (cleaned and deveined with the tails left on if possible. Great flavour)
  • Red onion- 1 large or 2 medium sized, sliced finely
  • Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt

For the marinade

  • Shallots- 5-6 (if you don’t have shallots, use half of a small red onion instead)
  • Whole black pepper- 1.5 teaspoon
  • Kashmiri red chili powder (or regular chilli powder)- 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander powder- 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger- 1 inch stick
  • Garlic- 2 large cloves (if using the regular variety, use about 5-6 cloves)

How to go about it:

  1. First step is to make the marinade. Grind the shallots (or half the small red onion) along with the whole black pepper. You don’t need to make it a 100% smooth. A slightly coarse paste will work. Keep aside. Then grind the ginger and garlic together. Add the ginger garlic paste to the onion pepper paste along with the chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric and salt. Add a dash of water and mix it all up well. Marinate the cleaned prawns in this marinade. Set aside.
  2. Next, heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in the pan or wok you want to use. Medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the curry leaves. Fry for about seconds. Add the sliced red onions. Saute the onions very well until they are brown. Adding a bit of salt speeds up the process. This sweetness of the beautifully cooked onions is the base of the dish. Don’t try to cut corners here.
  3. Once the onions are nice and brown, add the marinated prawns. Toss around until the brown onions and the marinated prawns mix well and also to make sure the onion, ginger and garlic in the marinade is cooked. Add a few teaspoons of oil if it begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. Ginger and garlic have the tendency to stick so add more oil and scrape the bottom once with the spatula.
  4. Keep the pan closed for 3-4 minutes or until the prawns release the water content and cook well. Check salt once again.
  5. Then leave the pan open and fry up the mixture well on a high heat until it’s almost dry. It is important not to overcook the prawns for best results. So, try to make sure the prawns stay in the pan for not more than 10-12 minutes altogether. It gets better with practice 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.