Spicy Prawn Masala


There is a reserved subtleness about this coastal delicacy that takes me back to a beautiful childhood summer memory on a  pristine konkan beach.

Prawn Masala

It was a small cozy beach in Konkan, Maharashtra, which was at a  walking distance from our place. The location was perfect as it was away from the main street and among the residential houses, making it less crowded. My cousins and I knew a small lane or a “short-cut” to get to it in five minutes, it was almost like having a private beach at a stone throw distance!

Onion- Coconut

The stark white sand contrasts against the rugged rocks and blue waters and we would spent our afternoons watching the antics of small colorful crabs or gathering sea shells and making necklaces.

After such sunny and hectic day at the beach 😉  we would be greeted to a scrumptious dish of fresh prawns, fish and crabs made using home-made masala and coconut. This home made masala is magic.  You can make any sea food dish come alive by slathering this home made masala  (paste) on it!

Prawn masala paste

I have attempted to recreate those flavors in this signature tropical Indian dish of “Spicy Prawn Masala”.

The prawns take less time to cook but its the masala paste that takes a little work. However, the cook time can be cut in half  by making the paste in advance. I love making a good quantity of this paste  so that I can freeze it for days together and use it when cooking becomes a cumbersome activity.

Prawn Masala featured

The amount of spice  can be altered to suit your spice preference and it will not change the flavor of the dish. This masala can also be used to make chicken if you do not fancy prawns.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Served: Hot
Serves: 3-4 people


2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
4 tsp red chilly powder
2-3 Tbsp Water
300 gm prawns (shrimp) deveined and cleaned
Pinch of Salt
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
1 tsp turmeric powder

Masala ( Paste)
2  medium onions (sliced)
1 cup grated/shredded coconut
1 inch ginger root
6-8 garlic cloves
1/4 cup coriander
4 – 6 green chilies
Salt to taste
Lime wedges and coriander leaves for garnish (optional)


  1. Marinate prawns with salt, lime juice and turmeric for 15-20 minutes and keep aside
  2.  In two separate pans dry roast grated coconut and onions until they are golden brown.
  3.  Add roasted coconut, onion, one inch ginger root, garlic paste (or 6-8 garlic cloves), coriander and green chilies in a grinder to make a paste.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and once it is hot add 4 tablespoon of the paste along with red chilly powder, salt and cook for 2-3 minutes on a medium flame. You can freeze the remaining paste up to 3 weeks.  It is a good idea to make this paste before hand as it cuts the cook time in half!
  5. Add marinated prawns and coat them evenly with the paste. Cook it until the oil starts to separate, then, add 2-3 tablespoons of water. Check for seasoning at this point. Add more water if you feel the paste is too think. Close the lid, and cook the prawns for 6 – 8 minutes on a medium flame. Reduce the flame to low and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the flame and open the lid after 5-6 minutes (Do not open immediately).
  6. Use lemon wedges and chopped coriander leaves for garnish.
  7. Bring your own tropical paradise at home by making this flavorful and enticing dish and serve it with rice and hot rotis!

Prawn Masala


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Leyla says:

    Looks delicious 🙂

  2. Tanvi says:

    Thank you Leyla 🙂 Hope you give it a try!

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