Mamta's Kitchen

Tandoori/Panfried Prawns

Tandoori or Panfried Jhinga

Mamta Gupta

Most people do not have a Tandoor Oven at home. This is an easy and delicious dish, which is great for cooking on bamboo skewers on a BBQ, or it can also be cooked on a griddle/frying pan/wok/karahi/under a hot grill. Adding too many spices spoils the taste of prawns, so keep it simple. The best tandoori prawns I have ever had were at a tiny road side eatery in Yemen, many, many years ago. It was not even a small restaurant, just a man sitting with a charcoal stove and a basket full of freshly caught prawns! Serves 2-4

Also see BBQ Selection and Marinade Selection.

Edited 20th January 2023

Pictures taken in Savita’s Kitchen


  • 500 gm. uncooked, large prawns (they look grey-blue)

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated/crushed/finely chopped

  • Juice of 1/4 lemon/lime

  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

  • 1/2 level tsp. chilli powder (adjust to taste or omit)

  • 1-2 tbsp. olive or other good oil.

  • Salt to taste


  1. I remove the shell, leaving just the tail, but you can leave prawns unpeeled. Remove head and de-vein (remove the black, thread like intestine from the outer curve of each prawn).

  2. Wash and leave in a colander to drain fully.

  3. Place all ingredients, along with prawns, in a bowl and mix well. Leave in a sealed box in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

  4. Cooking methods are listed below. Prawns are cooked when they turn orange. Do not overcook.:

  5. 1. Thread 3-4 prawns on each bamboo skewer* and cook on a BBQ, turning a few times.

  6. Skewered prawns can also be cooked on a hot griddle.

  7. 2. Spread out loose prawns on a hot griddle/heavy bottomed frying pan and cook on both sides (see main picture).

  8. 3, Spread out prawns on a foil lined or nonstick oven tray and cook under a hot grill.

  9. 4, Stir fry them in a hot wok or karahi.

  10. Serve immediately, with wedges of lime/lemon and a fresh Salad of choice. They can also be served with Pulao Rice.


  • Bamboo skewers should be soaked in water for half an hour before use. This stops them from burning on the BBQ.

  • Do not overcook prawns, they become rubbery and tough.

  • Tandoori Prawns Ajwaini (carom flavoured): For an alternative flavour, add 1 tsp. of carom seeds to the marinade.

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