Prawns with Indian pickling spices

Anjum Anand's prawn dish is made with traditional pickling spices, including fragrant nigella, fennel and fenugreek seeds
By Anjum Anand
Prawns with Indian pickling spices
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 4 tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1.5 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2-3 green chillies, halved lengthways and seeds removed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tbsp ground coriander
  • 800 g medium to large raw prawns, tails intact, and de-veined
  • 100 ml hand-hot water
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • handfuls coriander, chopped
  • salt, to taste


1. In a food processor, whiz the tomatoes to a puree and put on one side.

2. Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan and gently fry the seeds for 30 seconds - the seeds should take on a slightly nutty aroma.

3. Tip in the onion and fry for about 10 minutes, until coloured. Add the garlic and ginger pastes and the chillies. Cook for 40 seconds, before adding the turmeric, coriander powder and salt.

4. Pour in the pureed tomatoes and simmer, adding splashes of hot water to loosen the mixture if it seems a little thick. Cook until the oil rises to the surface - about 10 minutes.

5. Add the prawns and the water. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat. Cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the prawns are nearly cooked.

6. Remove the cover and stir over a high heat until the sauce has the consistency of thick gravy. Stir in the remaining garam masala, pepper, lemon juice and fresh coriander. Serve hot.

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