Spicy Shrimp Roast (Prawn Masala Dry)

Spicy Shrimp masalaSometimes we crave for a dish that we have tasted long ago somewhere. At least I do that often ūüôā In most cases, I also remember the ‘where’ and ‘when’. Yeah I am a little weird like that. I remember what some folks would call as ‘trivial’, unimportant details such as what dress I was wearing that one day 15 years ago when I visited my aunt’s place or what dish were served at a family party 10 years ago. ¬†So last week, when I saw the¬†picture of prawn masala on a FB page, I was instantly reminded of this spicy¬†prawns¬†dish that my uncle would make sometimes when he visited us.

I was a teenager around then and I was already very interested in cooking. This uncle of mine was my best buddy – you see he was a bachelor all his life until he passed away two years ago. So we got along great and I would always tag behind him everywhere. So we started with going to the fish market to buy fresh jumbo size prawns. And then I helped him with the chopping, roasting and powdering spices etc. And I stood next to him absorbing every bit of culinary advice that he had to offer! This uncle of mine whom I loved to death was unlike any ‘normal’ person. He had an interesting personality. He was an artist after all – unconventional,¬†reckless, ‘rebel’ sort of. So of course, when it came to cooking too there was no one¬†recipe that he would adhere to. Just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Whatever spices¬†he felt¬†a particular fancy for on that day would go into the pan. He was sort of a ‘minimalist’ and believed in simple, fresh ingredients. Whatever he did, he would always finish¬†with a drizzle of pure coconut oil on the top and some fresh curry leaves. And he was always able to¬†create magic in the kitchen every single time he cooked – the dishes were all ‘out of this world’! I remember him making really ‘gourmet style dishes and we would come up with interesting names for those like ‘ black chicken’, ‘white chicken’ and other similar interesting ones! How I wish now that I had done some note taking those days.!

Spicy prawn roastAnyways, so that’s what happened to me last week – I went down memory lane to reminisce about my dear uncle and his shrimp dishes and I had to create one. So drawing from my memory, I tried to re-create his ‘prawn roast’. In kerala ‘prawn roast’ or ‘egg roast’ or ‘chicken roast’ are dishes which are spicy and dry in nature – just spicy masala without a wet gravy. The technique is important here. First cooking the shrimp without any water and then saut√©ing the cooked shrimp with other ingredients.

Kerala style Prawns (dry)How I miss you dear maaman. I am grateful for¬†all these wonderful memories. I couldn’t taste this shrimp since I am on a restrictive anti-inflammatory food diet to control my RA. However, without question all this¬†reminiscing and consequently creation of this recipe was very well received by my family ūüôā

Bringing this spicy shrimp dish to Throwback Thursday where my rice noodles and chicken curry was a feature last week! Yay! Also Linking to Fiesta Friday this week where  Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Scarlett @ Unwed Housewife are co-hosts this week.

Spicy Shrimp Roast (Prawn Masala Dry)

  • Servings: makes about 3-4 servings as a side dish
  • Time: about 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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For the marinade(MASALA):

  • 1 tsp red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10-12 large or 16-18 med size shrimp (prawns)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel powder(freshly ground)
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper(freshly ground)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 cloves garlic,chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp oil (coconut oil or olive oil)
  • 2 tbsp oil (coconut or olive)
  • 1 medium size onion, thing long slices
  • 3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • 6-8 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp garam masala (optional)
  • coconut oil to drizzle on top


In a bowl, add all the masala ingredients and mix.  Clean and de-vein shrimp and blot dry with a paper towel.  Then add to the bowl with the masala and mix well to coat all the shrimp well with masala. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Heat a flat bottomed pan or pot and add marinated shrimp with the masala and cook covered on low to med heat for about 3-4 mins until the shrimp are just about cooked. Do not add any water and do not overcook.
Take the shrimp out along with the masala. To the same pan, add the oil and saute onion, green chillies and curry leaves for 2-3 minutes. Now add shrimp and stir fry for 2 mins. Add 1 tbsp water and cover with a lid for 1 min so that you get a moist masala. Turn heat off.  Let the shrimp sit covered for 5 minutes and drizzle with coconut oil before serving!

Kerala style Prawns (dry)




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0 thoughts on “Spicy Shrimp Roast (Prawn Masala Dry)

  1. Pingback: I Cease to See « theshivasponder

  2. I could put away some of this! I think your rebel uncle was ahead of his time and what a beautiful tribute to him! Thanks for linking up with us on Throwback Thursday!


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