As if I would give this away!

Okay, okay. Hang on. I am giving away the recipe. I was just completing a mental sentence about how my mother’s prawn masala is one of those dishes that makes me want to stop people on the road and say ‘eat this’ which is totally outrageous because I would never do it.

It is that good.

A couple of years ago my friend Nusrat had visited us with his family and I’d asked my mother to make biryani. She’d also made this prawn masala then and everyone loved it. Some months back Nusrat called me and was casually asking me if I knew the recipe for this Prawn Masala because he still remembers the taste and how awesome it was.

I was like – dude, you have the recipe in my book More than Just Biryani (which I’d already emailed him because I’d wanted him to read it).

‘Really?’ he was startled.

‘Yes. It’s just that it comes towards the end of the book and you have to read the full book to be able to make the prawn masala,’ I added.

‘Eh…okay,’ he said. And that was the LAST I heard from him. I don’t think he read the book or made the prawn masala. Hmpf.

Anyway, the recipe is simple enough to make, once you can bully someone into shelling and deveining the prawns. That’s what I would do.



Prawns – 250 gms – shelled, deveined and cleaned

Tomatoes – 2 deseeded and chopped

Onions – 3 chopped finely

Ginge-garlic paste – 1 tsp

Whole garam masala – a couple of cloves, elaichi pods and cinnamon sticks

Salt – To taste

Chilli powder – 1 tsp (depends on how hot you like it)

Haldi – 1/4 tsp

Coriander leaves – a handful

Oil – 3 tbsp

Ghee – 1 tbsp


  1. In a pan, heat the oil and drop the whole garam masala in it. Add the chopped onions and sauté them for a while.
  2. Add the ginger-garlic paste, haldi, salt and chilli powder. Stir well.
  3. Add the prawns, the chopped and deseeded tomatoes and the coriander leaves.
  4. Keep stirring throughout and when the prawns are cooked, lower the flame and let it brown.
  5. Top with ghee and let it simmer for a while before switching off the gas.

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