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Recipe for family meals :

Prawn Pakoras

This recipe is published with the permission of Manju Malhi from her book 'Brit Spice'. Manju first made her mark on the BBC 2 'Food & Drink' show in 1999, beating hundreds of other competitors to secure a guest cookery slot. And she hasn't looked back. After the success of her 2001 TV series 'Simply Indian', she has now published her first book.

Manju's upbringing in the Indian community of Middlesex strongly influences her cooking style, yet she has given a modern twist to traditional methods to produce a 'Brit Indi' style of food. She has developed an unusual yet easy cuisine, simplifying complicated Indian dishes without the need for use of countless spices. Many of the recipes have their roots in recipes handed down from her mother.

Every dish in 'Brit Spice' is accessible, easy to follow and quick to make, using ingredients that are readily available nationwide. Her fresh approach makes Indian cookery a pleasure - not a daunting challenge - with consistently delicious results.

To visit Manju's Brit Spice web site <click here>

"This recipe is a lighter variation of Onion Bhajis. Serve them as a party snack or as a starter".


500 ml / 18 fl oz vegetable oil for deep frying
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
100 g / 4 oz gram (chickpea) flour
1/4 tsp chilli powder
50 g / 2 oz fresh coriander, washed and finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp sodium bicarbonate
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
250 g / 8 oz peeled prawns, defrosted if frozen

  • Heat the oil in a deep saucepan. In a bowl mix all the ingredients apart from the prawns. Stir well until you have a stiff, sticky mixture. Add a couple of tablespoons of water if the mixture seems too dry then fold in the prawns. The mixture should be quite stiff and thick.
  • Check whether the oil is hot enough to start frying. drop a tiny bit of mixture into the oil: if it sizzles fiercely the oil is ready.
  • Slowly place teaspoon-size drops of the pakora mixture into the oil, five to six at a time, depending on the size of the pan, and fry for a couple of minutes until they are golden yellow. Remove them and put them on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. Taste one and adjust seasoning of the batter if necessary, then cook the rest.
  • Serve hot with Tomato and Chill Chutney (see Manju's book Brit Spice). The Prawn Pakoras can be reheated in the oven at 160ºC / 325ºF / Gas Mark 3 for 10 minutes, or in the microwave for 1 minute.

Serves 2 - 4

Manju Malhi
Recipe from Brit Spice

©Manju Malhi 2002