Prawns in tamarind sauce


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

The combination of sightly tart, tangy tamarind and sweet palm sugar, or jaggery, give this Parsi dish, Kolmino Patio, a distinctive and delicious sweet and sour flavour. This, combined with pungent fresh chilli and aromatic ground cumin, makes a delectable base for large prawns.


  • 60 ml/4 tbsp sunflower oil or light olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced 1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped (deseeded if preferred)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, or 10ml/2 tsp garlic purée
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2.5–5ml/½–1 tsp chilli powder
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ground cumin
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp grated palm sugar (jaggery) or light muscovado (brown) sugar
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp tamarind juice
  • 5 ml/1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 500 g/¼lb peeled raw tiger prawns (jumbo shrimp), tails on, deveined
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • plain (all-purpose) flour or a lentil dhal dish, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and chilli until the onion is soft, but not brown.

  2. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the onion begins to brown. Add the turmeric, chilli powder and cumin. Cook for about a minute, then stir in 50ml/2fl oz lukewarm water.

  3. Stir in the palm sugar or sugar, tamarind juice and salt. Increase the heat slightly and stir until the palm sugar has dissolved.

  4. Add the prawns to the pan and cook gently for 6–8 minutes or until they are completely pink and just cooked. Stir in the fresh coriander.

  5. Serve immediately with Plain Boiled Rice or a lentil dhal.

Per portion Energy 298kcal/1245kJ; Protein 24g; Carbohydrate 16g, of which sugars 14g; Fat 016g, of which saturates 2g; Cholesterol 244mg; Calcium 141mg; Fibre 0.9g; Sodium 742mg.