Prawns Masala

Servings : 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 salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1/4 tsp garlic paste

Other Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 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
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 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! :

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