Smashed masala prawns


You’re probably thinking I’ve finally lost it! What the #@$@ are smashed prawns?? Well, I’m about to tell you my friends!A couple of years ago, my parents visited Kerala and when mum came home she couldn’t stop raving about these ‘smashed prawns’. They were large prawns, butterflied and then cooked with a weight on top, thus in effect ‘smashing’ them. She had no idea what went into the marinade and she didn’t think to ask! I googled and googled with all sorts of search terms and have still had no luck.

So I thought I might try the technique out, but with my own marinade and the result was fantastic! The ‘smashing’ method gives the prawns a nice crust and they went down a treat!

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 kilo tiger prawns (remove heads and shell – leave tail intact)
  • 2 tablespoons tandoori paste
  • 2 tablespoons full fat plain yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • lime or lemon wedges to serve
  • Coriander leaves (chopped)


Butterfly the prawns. Add tandoori paste, yoghurt, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, lime or lemon juice and salt and marinade well. Make sure you get the masala into the slits. Set aside for half an hour.

Heat a large non-stick fry pan. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of pan. Open up each prawn and lay down in pan in a single layer. Place a piece of aluminium foil on top of the prawns and place a heavy pot on top of the foil. If the pot isn’t heavy enough, fill it with water. You want the weight to press on the prawns until they flatten out and come in contact fully with the hot pan.

After five minutes, remove pot and foil. Flip prawns and repeat procedure. The masala would have crusted nicely.

Remove prawns, garnish with freshly chopped coriander and lime or lemon wedges. Enjoy!

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