Chilli prawns

Chilli prawn a very popular indo-chinese dish and one of my favourite starter in indo-chinese .chilli prawn is my favourite dish and I have prepared it in Indo-Chinese style. In restaurants, whenever I see chilli chicken or chilli prawns in the menu, I just order it. I love food which is spicy, tangy and reddish in colour but at the same time it has to be delicious and tasty. So, I tried this chilli prawns, which is spicy and have added spiciness according to my taste. Instead of prawns you can use chicken or fish. In this I have used Kashmir chillies for the colour. In this recipe I have used tail-on prawns so that it looks good, I have prepared chilli prawns without tail also. If you want, you can remove the tail. The sauce is spicy and tangy. The prawns are deep fried in a batter and then added to the sauce. You can serve it as a starter or as a side dish.

Preparation time: 20 mins (does not include time to marinate)

Cooking time: 25 mins

Cuisine: Indo-Chinese

Serves: 2 to 3

Spiciness: Medium


  1. Prawns - 200 gms
  2. Marinade

  3. Corn flour – 4 tbsp
  4. Egg – 1
  5. White or black pepper – 1/4 tsp
  6. Kashmir chilli paste – 1 tsp
  7. Sesame oil – 1/2 tsp
  8. Soya sauce – 1 tsp
  9. Chopped garlic (optional) - 1 tsp
  10. Salt - as per taste
  11. Sauce

  12. Oil (any cooking oil) – 2 tbsp
  13. Onion (medium, chopped) – 1
  14. Ginger (chopped) – 1 tsp
  15. Garlic (chopped) – 1 tsp or 2 cloves
  16. Green chillies (sliced) – 2
  17. Sugar – 1 tsp
  18. Cashew nuts (kaju) – 8 to 10
  19. Chilli paste – 1 tsp
  20. Sesame oil – 1 tsp
  21. Tomato sauce – 2 1/2 tbsp
  22. Dark soya sauce – 2 tsp
  23. Rice vinegar – 2 tsp
  24. White pepper (or black pepper) – 1/4 tsp
  25. Salt - as required
  26. Water – 3/4 cup
  27. Spring onions (chopped) - 2
  28. Additional vegetables

  29. Red capsicum – 1/4
  30. Green capsicum – 1/4
  31. Onion – 1/4


  1. First chop all the vegetables and keep it ready. Chop onion, garlic and cashew nuts (kaju) to small pieces and keep it aside.
  2. Cut capsicum and onion into squares (chunk) and spring onion into slices and green chillies also into slices.
  3. Marinade

  4. For marinating the prawns, take a bowl and add all the ingredients - chilli paste, pepper powder, garlic, sesame oil, soya sauce and egg. Mix well. Add corn flour and mix well. It should not be too thick nor too thin.
  5. Deep frying

  6. Now fry the prawns in deep oil. Let the heat be in medium. When you drop the prawn, before that check the hotness of oil, drop some batter and see, if it comes immediateltly up, then it is hot and you can fry it.
  7. As soon as you drop the prawns do not stir it , other wise the coating will come out. After few seconds can turn it or stir it with a frying spoon. Fry it in batches and keep it aside. Let the prawns be cooked till 80% but the coating should be cooked well.
  8. Sauce

  9. Take a wide pan or kadai or wok, add oil, when it gets warm add onions and stir it for a minute, then add garlic, green chillies, kaju and stir it for 15 sec or till it is lightly roasted but not brown.
  10. Add chilli paste and fry well so that its rawness goes off, add sugar and ajinomoto also in it, after few minutes add, all the sauces one by one like tomato sauce, soya sauce, vinegar and mix well.
  11. after few sec add water 1/2 cup, so that spices are not burnt. Let the sauce cook for few minutes till all the ingredients are blended well and the chilli paste is cooked well.
  12. When the sauce become little thicker or little dry type, add water again and cook it so that we can have gravy type or sauce for the prawns or until the sauce is as per the consistency you want.
  13. Now add the additional vegetables and then the prawns, mix well. Stir the prawns carefully otherwise the coating can come out. I am showing you the pictures of the prawns with tail as well, which I prepared earlier.
  14. Stir well till the sauce is coated well with prawns and capsicum is cooked but crunchy not soft.
  15. In the end I added sesame oil, pepper powder and the spring onions, stir it well for 2min and at the end I simmer it for 3 mins so that the sauce is not burnt and becomes dry, so as to get well blended with all the ingredients. As soon as you add sesame oil, the taste changes.
  16. Switch off, when all the prawns are well blended in the sauce and the vegetables are cooked and crunchy and the sauce is as per your consistency.
  17. This is not a saucy or gravy dish like Manchurian, just a sauce to coat the prawns and capsicum. You can see in the picture. If want saucy type can add water and other ingredients like tomato ketchup, soya sauce and cook it for few minutes, till your consistency is formed.
  18. Serve hot as a starter or as a side dish.


  1. I have cooked this on a medium flame and sometimes I reduce the heat when adding ingredients so that the ingredients do not get burnt.
  2. Do not go by the minutes and seconds, just add the ingredients one by one and stir. Be careful with the garlic - make sure it does not get burnt.
  3. If chilli paste is added, cook well until its rawness goes off.
  4. You can avoid sesame oil and you can add more tomato sauce or ketchup according to your taste.
  5. I have not thickened the sauce with corn starch. If you want you can add corn starch, by mixing one tsp of corn flour in 1/3 cup of water.