Stove-grilled jumbo prawns with 20 garlic cloves

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Food and Travels: Asia

Food and Travels

By Alastair Hendy

Published 2004

  • About

Little Indian about this. Just unadorned seafood, with the lift of garlic, curry leaves and butter. They dish up something similar for the tourists down by Cochin’s Chinese fishing nets.


  • 4 of the biggest shell-on prawns you can lay your hands on, or 4 lobster tails, uncooked and rinsed
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 20 tiny cloves garlic, 3 peeled and crushed, the rest unpeeled
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, pulled from their stem
  • 100 g butter
  • lemon halves, to serve


Toss the prawns with plenty of salt and a twist of black pepper, the lemon juice and the crushed garlic, and leave on one side, covered, for about half an hour. Heat a heavy frying pan until medium hot, toss the whole garlic cloves in a dash of oil and some salt, then spread over the pan, cover and gently pan-roast until they’re tender. Rub the prawns with 1 tbsp of oil and place them in the hot pan, tucking the resident garlic cloves around. Put a lid over the lot and roast away for about 3 minutes. Turn everything over, tuck in the curry leaves, and do the same for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the butter and turn through so everything is coated. Serve up with lemon halves to squeeze over and with finger bowls to rinse fingers.