Khatta meetha jhinga

Tamarind prawns

This works best with big whopper prawns and you can get decent-sized tiger prawns if you ask for them – the term would be size 6/8 (which in fishmonger lingo means 6-8 in a pound or half a kilo in new money). The first job is to marinade the prawns – preferably for 3-4 hours. A Ziploc bag is ideal for marinating as it keeps everything tight and together and ensures even coating. 

Serves 4


  • 2 kg 6/8 jumbo prawns
  • For the marinade
  • 1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons onion seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind
  • 4 tablespoons yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • Lemon wedges
  • 4 spoons natural yoghurt
  • 6-7 mint leaves, finely chopped


1 Now it’s time to make the marinade – simply mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Pop the prawns into the Ziploc bag or plastic Tupperware. Add the marinade and manipulate it nicely all over the prawns. Leave them for 4-6 hours, giving them a shake every hour or so.

2 To cook them, give them a dusting of salt and simply pop them under a spanking hot grill for five minutes on either side (six if they’re in the shells).

3 Garnish with some wedges of lemon and a drizzle of the mint yoghurt.

Tip: Purists would leave the prawns in the shells and enjoy the mess and added flavour from cooking in the shells and it’s quite nice to dig in and get your hands dirty – but it also works very well deshelled if you wanted to remain somewhat dignified during dinner.

Recipe credit: Kinara Kitchen

Photography credit: Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke