Prawns Masala

Rate this recipe 
Average: 5 (4 votes)
Serves 4

This dish works as a base/masala for Prawn Biryani OR can be had as is with either parathas, bread, chapatis, rotis, boiled rice..etc. A spicy and delicious dish!

Ingredients for Marination
500 gm
prawns, shelled and de-veined
(marinate the cleaned prawns in the following ingredients for 2 hours or up to overnight)
1 tsp
red chilli powder
1/2 tsp
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp
tandoori masala
1/4 tsp
garlic paste
Other Ingredients
1/2 cup
medium onions, sliced
tomatoes, chopped
green chillies, slit or chopped
1/2 cup
fresh yoghurt, whipped
2 tbsp
tomato paste/puree
1 tsp
garlic paste
1/2 tsp
ginger paste
juice of half a lemon
pinch of saffron
1/4 tsp
turmeric powder
1 tsp
cumin powder
cinnamon stick
cardamom pod
1 tsp
cumin seeds
potatoes, peeled and cubed
(then fried or boiled separately)
4 tbsp
chopped coriander

Heat oil, fry the sliced onions, then drain and set aside. Next add the marinated prawns into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes just to seal them nicely, drain and set aside. Do not over-fry the prawns as they will cook some more in the gravy, and over-cooking prawns makes them hard.

Add the cumin seeds, cardamom and cinnamon to the oil. Once they splutter, add the chopped tomatoes, sprinkle a bit of salt on them and fry until all the moisture evaporates.

In the meantime, whip the yoghurt in a bowl, then crush half of the fried onions and add them in the bowl, plus the tomato paste. Add the saffron. Use a fork and whip these ingredients together.

Once the tomatoes have dried, add the ginger and garlic, 1 of the chopped/slit chilli, turmeric powder and cumin powder. Fry for a minute, then pour in the yoghurt mixture. Cook this down for about 2-3 minutes until it thickens and no longer has any raw flavour. Add the fried prawns, remaining fried onions and the potatoes and simmer together on low heat, giving an occasional stir. Adjust the salt, add the remaining green chilli. You can add a bit of water for extra gravy if needed.

When done, squeeze in the lemon juice and sprinkle the chopped coriander. Mix in and serve! :


fauzia thank you very much. I like each and every recipe, they are so simple. may Allah bless you always.

MashaAllah ur recipes r so easy to understand and to try noting them all n will inshaAllah try them, u r really helping us out,may Allah bless u... I have written my e-maill add above please notify me of any new updates,will really appreciate... By the way where ru from? JazakaAllah.

Thank you so much Fauzia your site is very useful. Jazakillah kheir.

Masha Allah fauzia, may Allah reward u for this wonderful site. Recipes r so nice and easy to try. Am from nigeria and we love arabian food. We spend so much money to buy them here.

u have the best recepies

Masha allah I really enjoy all your recpies, may allah bless you. Jazakhalla khairan for sharing.

salaam dear, i just came across your website and i must say its the best by far, with easy to follow steps etc. i so much want to make a special prawn curry and this one looks amazing. could you let me know if u have any other prawn curry recipes. shukran katheer

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thank you. Blend and simmer tomatoes (without adding water). You can add a pinch of salt and sugar. Let it simmer until it thickens to a dark red thick paste. Use accordingly.

thank u soo much fauzia....made it yesterday my daughter loved it....

salam fauzia, your recipies are simply tasty and yummy..i would lyk to know how to make tomato paste at home......

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Please check the chicken folder.

wat about grild chicken pls dr fauzia sistr thank u

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, fry the onions until golden brown.

Salam, can't wait to try this recipe, but I'm not sure how to fry the onions, till they are brown, soft, translucent?
Love your work, kept it up

Assalamu alaikum wb. Must u marinate the prawns overnight? What if u just decided u want to make this as u just got fresh prawns(we have fishermen move around the neighbourhoods yelling 'kamba, kamba' :-)) and wanted to have them the same day--can u marinate for at least an hour? would the recipe turn out ok? Shukran!

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes you can marinate for a minimum of half an hour. :)

mouth waterin recepi,, yummy

assalam aleykum fauzia just wanted to know whether i can blend the yoghurt for it to be whipped like how exactly should i whip yhe yoghurt

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, you can blend it but what I normally do is just whip it with a fork, just to remove any lumps and get it nice and silky smooth. :)

thanks..i tried it n loved it:)

Was too good fauzia ji!

Can I make my own tandoori masala? If so canu tell me how

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

You can but I do not have a recipe for it, I buy mine ready made from any spice shop or the spice isles in supermarkets.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes you can but sorry I do not have a recipe for it. I buy mine ready made from any spice shop or at supermarkets. :)

How many would this feed?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Around 4-5

I love this dish! Will make again and again : )

Aswk. I wud lik to omit yoghurt.wht shud I
Add to replace it.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Sorry but I cannot be sure what would be a perfect substitute for the yoghurt. You can try leaving it out entirely.

Youghurt means curd or set youghurt....
can i use Anchor new dale set youghurt

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

A heavy set yoghurt. I do not know the one you mentioned, if it a fresh yoghurt and can be had with a meal then yes. Nothing flavoured or sweetened.

Oh my God ..... i actually used the sweetend set youghurt n it tasted amazing.. :)
this time i shall try without sweet but then again can i use curd....or is there a cooking youghurt...

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes you can use fresh curd, just drain it well.

Aoa. Tried ur prawn masla yesterday...turned out hubby usually eats grilled prawns but liked these...took second and even third serving !! MashAllah all Ur recipes r too oo good. ..ur site is really a blessing cuz I don't have to think abt wht to cook everyday....n whichever recipe, it's always a hit!! Thank u so much for sharing ur recipes... May Allah bless U always :) will be making the prawn briyani today with left overs !! 2 yummies with one recipe wow !

what if I make this 2 days ahead..will it still taste good?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

It will be good but prawns taste best the day they are made because reheating them sometimes tends to make them get tough.