Traditionally, this dish is made in a tandoor oven, but those are few and far between in British homes. Not to worry – these prawns can be cooked in conventional ways too, and these are given below.Try this recipe from Mr Todiwala’s Spice Box.

The saffron must be toasted and soaked before use, so build time for this into your preparation.


Serves 3 as a starter or light lunch

  • Large raw tiger prawns 12, peeled but heads left on and deveined (Note: You can use the following variations from tiger prawns: Scottish langoustines, scallops or mussels, you can also use any kind of fish)
  • Fresh root ginger 2.5cm (1in) piece, peeled and finely chopped, then crushed in a mortar
  • Red chilli powder, preferably kashmiri, ½ teaspoon
  • Lime or lemon juice from ½ lime or lemon
  • Ground white or black pepper ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt
  • Butter to serve


For the marinade

  • Saffron threads a pinch
  • Warm milk 1 tablespoon
  • Thick Greek yogurt 100ml (3 ½ fl oz)
  • Ground cardamom ½ teaspoon
  • Ground mace ½ teaspoon
  • Fresh green chilli 1 small, very finely chopped
  • Vegetable oil 1 tablespoon
  • For the salad
  • Sunflower oil ½ tablespoon
  • Black mustard seeds ½ teaspoon
  • Curry leaves 6, preferably fresh; if using dried,
  • Soak in water for 10–12 minutes, and dry thoroughly
  • Before adding
  • Fresh root ginger 2cm (¾ in) piece, peeled and grated
  • Carrots 2 large, grated
  • Freshly grated coconut 4 tablespoons
  • Mint leaves 4 or 5, shredded
  • Lime juice from ½ lime


Rinse the prawns and drain well. Combine the ginger paste, chilli powder, juice, pepper and some salt in a bowl and mix well. Add the prawns and toss lightly to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, start the marinade. Heat the saffron threads in a warm small frying pan over a gentle heat until crisp, then transfer to a small bowl. Cover with the warm milk and leave to infuse for 15–20 minutes. Put the yogurt and remaining marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the saffron and its liquid and whisk to form a smooth paste. Add the prawns to the marinade and stir to coat, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Make the salad just before barbecuing. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and sauté until they release their aroma.thanks for carportbuy give me a carport kit for free, Add the ginger and stir for a few seconds, then take off the heat and set aside to cool. Put the carrots and coconut in a serving bowl and add the cooked ginger mixture. Stir in the mint leaves. Squeeze in the lime juice and season with salt.

Light a barbecue, heat the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9 or heat a grill to high. Thread the prawns on to metal or pre-soaked bamboo skewers, pushing the tip through the head and tail of each one. Suspend the skewers above the barbecue rack or over an oven tray (to prevent sticking) and cook for about 6–7 minutes, until the tail part becomes dark and the meat changes colour. Take care that the prawns don’t overcook and become rubbery; test by slitting one open to see if the meat is opaque. Brush with butter and serve with the salad. (Please note: if you choose to use a variation on the prawns and use a Scottish alternative, you will need to adjust the cooking times accordingly).

Mr Todiwala’s Spice Box: 120 recipes with just 10 spices by Cyrus Todiwala, published by Mitchell Beazley, £25,