A sinful and flavour packed coastal recipe for crispy Prawns Koliwada. These lightly battered deep fried prawns make for an excellent appetiser.
No trip to a local seafood restaurant or bar in Mumbai (and other coastal parts of Maharashtra) would be complete without a plateful of this deep fried deliciousness. Lightly spiced, battered and fried until golden and crisp, they pair perfectly with a cold beverage on a hot summers day. Or even as side to a simple meal of steamed rice and dal.
Use fresh prawns and leave their tails on so you can just devour them whole. One of the major problem areas in this dish (and one I find often puts people off it) is when the batter is too thick forming a coating instead of a light crisp exterior. Nobody loves a soggy prawn I can tell you! So in the way I make it, you can get the lightest crisp batter that only just coats the prawn – leaving them crunchy and very moreish. I also tone down the spices, with some fresh and some dry chilli and freshly pounded ginger and garlic. You want the spices to enhance the flavour and sweetness of fresh prawns, not distract from it. The combination of chickpea flour and coarse rice flour gives a great result.
Thanks to the lemon juice in the marinade, the prawns need a very quick fry in hot oil. You could potentially pan fry them and get a decent result, but trust me, you want to deep fry these! Serve them with a bright green coriander-mint chutney, some extra fried crispy curry leaves and it’ll make your day!
- 500 gms Fresh Prawns tail on, deveined
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 Green Chilli chopped
- 1 tsp Ginger chopped
- 1 tsp Garlic chopped
- 4 Curry Leaves finely chopped
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- 3/4 tbsp Besan (chickpea flour)
- 1 tbsp Rice Flour (coarse)
- Canola Oil (for frying)
- Salt to taste
- Pound together the ginger, garlic and chilli with a pinch of salt.
- Marinate the prawns with salt, chilli powder, cumin, ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, lemon juice and curry leaves. Set aside for 20 minutes.
- Heat oil in a fry pan and have it ready to go. Add the besan (chickpea flour) to the prawns mix through until each prawn is evenly coated. You want a light thin coat.
- Sprinkle on the coarse rice flour to get a even crust over the prawns. Make sure your oil is hot (atleast 170-180°C) before you add the prawns. Deep fry (for best results) for about a minute (adjust based on the size of the prawn).
- Serve hot with some crispy whole curry leaves and coriander mint chutney