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Kadai Prawns served in a small kadai

Kadai Prawns

Kadai Prawns also known as Prawn Karahi is an easy & flavorful dish that's made with a special blend of fragrant spices known as Kadai Masala. This Prawn Karahi recipe tastes best with Chapathi, rice or roomali roti.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Kadai Prawns, Prawn Karahi
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 294kcal
Author: Meghna Chakraborty


For Tempering the Oil

For Flash Marinating the Prawns


Flash marinating & frying the prawns

  • Flash marinate the prawns with ginger garlic paste, turmeric, red chili, lemon juice & salt. Give the prawns a good rub & set aside.
  • Next, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add about 1 tbsp oil. When the oil becomes moderately hot release the prawns & fry until pinkish orange in color. Do not over fry. It should take you about 2 mins to fry them. Set aside.

Making the Kadai Prawns or Prawn Karahi

  • Set a Kadai over medium heat. Add oil. When the oil becomes moderately hot throw in the whole cumin seeds, dry red chilies & the bay leaf. Allow them to sizzle for a few seconds.
  • Next, add the chopped onions & saute until lightly golden in color. You may add salt at this stage to quicken the process.
  • Now, add the chopped tomatoes & saute until completely mushy.
  • Add the tomato paste diluted with water & give everything a very good mix. You will notice that oil is leaving the sides of the Karahi.
  • Next, add the spices (turmeric, coriander, cumin & red chili powders) and give everything a good stir until slightly fragrant.
  • Add the shallow fried prawns & saute them with the bhuna masala until all the prawns are nicely coated with the masala.
  • Next, add the frozen pearl onions, green bell peppers & ginger julienne & mix well.
  • Now, add the Kadai masala, kasturi methi & the garam masala & saute until the prawns are well coated with the masalas & the curry becomes fragrant. Do not over fry. It should take you about 2 mins.
  • Serve hot & enjoy!


  1. Measuring cup used, 1 cup = 240 ml & 1 tbsp = 5 ml.
  2. Do not miss out the HOME-MADE KADAI MASALA. it will give your Kadai Parwns dish the best flavors. I've made a comprehensive post on home-made Kadai Masala, it's just a click away & you can find the link shared in this post for the steps + Video recipe.
  3. Do not over fry the prawns. Stop when them turn pink & orangish in color. They should be nice & plump & juicy. Over frying prawns will make them stiff, rubbery & dry.
  4. You may skip out adding the pearl onions if you do not have them handy.
  5. If you choose to use fresh whole pearl onions do add them along with the chopped onions & fry them well. 
  6. If you decide to go with pre-cooked frozen pearl onions follow the exact same recipe.
  7. I would recommend to use each and every spices because they all have specific roles to play & missing out on a single one will hugely impact the taste of the Karahi Prawns. You may adjust with the proportions & can use less or more but do not skip any of them.
  8. We prefer slightly crunchy veggies hence after adding the capsicums & frozen pearl onions I didnot cook the curry for a long time. But, if you prefer slightly soft veggies do cook for more 2-3 mins covering the Kadai. Do not increase the heat. Keep it at medium low & sprinkle some water so that the curry does not get stuck at the bottom of the pan.
  9. Do not saute much after adding the home-made kadai masala, garam masala & the Kasturi methi. Just saute for about 2 mins & turn off the flame. The ingredients will become slightly fragrant. Over frying will completely alter the taste of the masalas.
Nutrition Facts
Kadai Prawns
Amount Per Serving
Calories 294 Calories from Fat 26
% Daily Value*
Fat 2.9g4%
Saturated Fat 0.6g4%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.6g
Cholesterol 208mg69%
Sodium 567.4mg25%
Potassium 1084.2mg31%
Fiber 7.7g32%
Sugar 1.7g2%
Protein 21.4g43%
Vitamin A 2495IU50%
Vitamin C 102.7mg124%
Calcium 117mg12%
Iron 5.1mg28%
* Read our privacy policy - Calorie information is provided as a courtesy only and should be leveraged as an estimate rather than a guarantee.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 294kcal | Protein: 21.4g | Fat: 2.9g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.6g | Cholesterol: 208mg | Sodium: 567.4mg | Potassium: 1084.2mg | Fiber: 7.7g | Sugar: 1.7g | Vitamin A: 2495IU | Vitamin C: 102.7mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 5.1mg