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Tandoori Prawns

Aromatic tandoori prawns from Rick Stein's Fruits of the Sea. This Indian inspired recipe is ideal for a barbecue, served with kachumber salad and a warm naan.

From the book


The tandoori spice mix that I use for my prawns is quite unconventional. Although it includes all the standard tandoori marinade ingredients, such as yoghurt, lemon juice, chilli and curry spices, I also put in a great deal of pounded fennel seed, which I find gives the marinated prawns an incomparable texture and aromatic flavour. Do splash out on the best-possible whole uncooked prawns for this dish; it is well worth it.

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32 large, raw, unshelled prawns
175g / 6oz Greek yoghurt
For the lemon chilli marinade:
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lemon
For the tandoori masala paste:
15g / ½ oz fennel seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
25g / 1oz fresh root ginger, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 red finger chillies, seeded and roughly chopped
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric powder
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tbsp cold water
For the kachumber salad:
3 tomatoes
1 medium onion
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 large pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp salt

Essential kit

You will need a food processor and a coffee grinder or a pestle and mortar.


Mix together all the ingredients for the lemon chilli marinade. Make 3 small slits in either side of each prawn between the shell segments to allow the marinade to penetrate. Put the prawns and marinade in a bowl, turning the prawns to coat them, and set aside for 20 minutes.

For the tandoori masala paste, grind the fennel, coriander and cumin seeds in a coffee grinder or a pestle and mortar. Put the spices in a food processor with all the rest of the ingredients and the cold water and blend until smooth. Stir the paste into the yoghurt. Add the prawns, stir together well and leave for 20 minutes.

Thread the prawns on to metal skewers or bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water; piercing them just behind the head and through the tail. Cook them over a barbecue or under a very hot grill for 4 minutes, turning them over half-way through.

While the prawns are cooking, prepare the salad. Halve and thinly slice the tomatoes and onion, then mix with all the remaining salad ingredients. Serve with the prawns, together with some warm naan bread.


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