Prawn Patia (Indian Sweet and Spicy Shrimp)

[Photograph: Prasanna Sankhe]

Note: Ginger-garlic paste can be bought in a jar in most Indian markets. Alternatively, combine equal parts ginger and garlic grated on a microplane grater.

About the author: Denise Dsilva Sankhe is a writer & creative director by profession. But that's only when she isn't eating her way across India. She recreates this delicious cuisine in her Mumbai home, which she shares with her husband, who has long since given up his determination to have salads for dinner.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Prawn Patia (Indian Sweet and Spicy Shrimp)

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 2
Active time:10 minutes
Total time:25 minutes
Special equipment:Heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet
This recipe appears in: Serious Entertaining: An Indian Buffet Beyond Curry: Prawn Patia


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 small green chillies (such as Thai bird) chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (see note above)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar or grated jaggery
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon vinegar (preferably palm vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup medium shelled, deveined shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves


  1. 1

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Gently put in the curry leaves and step aside as they pop. Stir for 20 seconds. Add the chopped onions and stir until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the green chillies and stir for another minute. Add the tomato puree and keep stirring until oil separates from the onion tomato mix, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger-garlic past, red chilli, turmeric, and cumin, and keep stirring until mixture is fragrant, about 5 minutes, taking care to ensure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom.

  2. 2

    Add the sugar/grated jaggery, vinegar, and water and cook till the rawness of the tomato is gone, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Add the shrmp, stir and let cook for one minute. Remove from heat. Allow to continue cooking off heat, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are cooked through, about 4 minutes longer. Garnish with coriander and serve with white rice and daal.


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