Tandoori tiger prawns

Tandoori prawns (tandoori jhinga) traditionally cooked in clay tandoor in restaurants, can be equally enjoyed at home by cooking in our own oven or on a barbeque or a grill. The big prawns (jhinga) are so meaty and when grilled or cooked in tandoor, it is very appetising, delicious and one cannot resist.

As soon as I took the photos, nobody waited even for a second, we just attacked the prawns. I thoroughly enjoyed even the last bit of tasty juices from the shells and tails.

Use big tiger prawns or any large prawns which are available, that is meaty. For the marinade, I have used tandoori marinade. You can buy ready-made tandoori powder or make yourself fresh like me. To give that restaurant style or clay tandoor colour on prawn(jhinga) , I have used both oven and grill pan in my cooking. That is first cooking 10 min in oven and then for giving that charred colour I have cooked on the grill. Prawns won’t take much time to cook, to keep its moist; I have kept the shell on.

Ingredients

  • Big tiger prawns – 7 to 8
  • First marinade

  • Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Second marinade

  • Curd (thick) – 4 tbsp
  • Kashmir Chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Roasted cumin and coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Biryani or red Colour – a pinch
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Garnishing

  • Onion (cut in rings) – 1
  • Ginger – 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1/3 cup

Method

  • First remove the head and deveined the prawn without removing its outer shell and tail. You can remove the shell but keep the tail.
  • Make a long cut on top of the prawn or make a slit, so that marinade penetrates well inside the shell of the prawn.
  • Mix the first marinate and apply well on the big prawns.
  • Refrigerate for 1/2hr.
  • Preheat the pan add 1 tbsp of each coriander seeds and cumin seeds and roast them till you get nice aroma and its colour is slightly changed to brown. Alow to cool. Transfer to spice mixer grind it coarsely or pestle/mortar , crush it coarsely. Store in a air tight bottle.
  • Add all the ingredients of second marinade in a bowl and combine well, the marinate should be thick.
  • Apply on each prawn well, so that the marinate penetrates inside nicely. Remember as the shell is on top, if the marinade is not penetrated inside well, after cooking the prawn meat may taste bland.
  • Marinate for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. Take out from the fridge 1/2 hour before cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 200c for 10min, line baking sheet with foil.
  • Place the prawns in a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 min, turn the other side after 4 to 5min. Remove from oven and keep it aside.
  • Heat the grill and apply oil so that prawns don’t stick on the grill pan. Place it on a hot grill pan to give that char colour or tandoori colour effect on the prawn.
  • I have cooked on medium flame, basting or drizzling with oil, little by little in-between as per your choice. In the end only, I added butter to give extra taste and glaze.
  • In the end just sprinkle coriander leaves, lemon juice , onion and ginger, on the prawns  or on the side of the grill, sauté for 1 to 2min the onion, the remaining ingredients will take few seconds only and remove it.
  • Serve the prawns and the sautéed garnishing on the prawns and enjoy.

Notes

  • I have added the salt as per the taste in both the marinades and a little bit on the garnishing(fried onions) too.
  • I used Kashmiri red chilli powder, which is not spicy but gives nice rich red colour. Can also use chilli powder or paprika powder.
  • Butter can be substituted with olive oil or vegetable or sunflower oil while grilling.
  • The tail and shell of the prawn maybe retained for better looks, but is optional.
  • As the shell was not removed and my prawns were big, after cooking in oven and grill, it remained juicy.
  • You can grill the prawns directly either on a grill pan or a sandwich toaster. Cook according to the instructions of your grill/sandwich toaster.
  • You can use the prawns for outdoor barbeque.
  • You can use medium or any prawns which is available, but need to remove it fast from oven/grill as it will cook quickly.

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