prawns koliwada recipe

 Prawns Koliwada Mumbai's Spicy Seafood Sensation

Crispy and spicy prawns koliwada from the culinary heritage of Koli community is a must have dish for you. Try this mouthwatering seafood appetizer in your next visit to Mumbai and it's neighbouring koliwada region. Prawns is a seafood with lots of nutritions and health benefits. It has a unique and distinctive flavour profile, like its natural sweetness. They are rich in Umami, the fifth taste sensation, which is often described as savory, meaty or brothy. When you cooked prawns, they release a delicate, slightly sweet aroma. Which is the hallmark of their freshness and quality.

Serving prawns koliwada with green chutney onion slices and lemon wedges, spoon in background

Prawns koliwada is a favourite culinary delight for all the seafood lovers. Who doesn't love those crisp and spicy bites of prawns dipped in coriander mint chutney. An absolute wining combination of succulent prawns, vibrant spices and a crispy golden brown coating. If you have been looking for such a prawns recipe, you have come to the right place. Here I bring you the step by step guide on how to make prawns koliwada recipe at the comfort of your kitchen.

There is no doubt that you will get plenty of prawns koliwada recipe out there, but this one is a tested and trusted recipe from the branded kitchen of some renewed Chef's. Before we jumped into the recipe, let's have some quick helpful information for it.

What is Prawns Koliwada

Prawns koliwada is a popular seafood dish or snacks originated from the coastal region of Maharashtra. Batter coated prawns are deep fried till become crisp and golden. These prawns are marinated in a mixture of spices along with gram flour to give them a delightful and spicy contrast and crispy outer layer. They are often served  sprinkling chat masala over their top along with green chutney and lemon wedges.

A brief history about it

The exact origin for Koliwada dishes is unknown. However there is one popular theory suggesting that these dishes originated in Sion koliwada region. According to this theory, the famous restaurant and bar named Hazare, located in Sion, played a pivotal role in introducing these dishes to the world. The founder of Hazare, Hukumchand Singh Jhulka is credited serving these dishes for the first time in the year 1955. Mr Jhulka's journey to Maharashtra and Sion koliwada region traced back to partition period when he migrated to the region. Due to his close proximity to the koli community in Sion koliwada, the dishes become known as koliwada dishes, honouring their connection to the region.

Ingredients required to make the recipe

Spices, herbs and prawns for prawns koliwada recipe

Prawns : Medium size Prawns, peeled and deveined

Spices : Red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garama masala, chat masala, carom seeds and salt

Herbs : Ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste and coriander leaves for garnish

Flour : Gram flour(besan) and corn flour or rice flour

Others : Cooking oil for frying

For garnish : Onion slices, green chutney and lemon wedges

What types of Prawns can be used to make the recipe

Different types of prawns can be used to make the recipe. Generally the medium size prawns are widely used in restaurants to make prawns koliwada. Other types of prawns includes Jumbo Prawns, King Prawns and Tiger Prawns. Make sure to choose the fresh, cleaned and deveined prawns. Large and firm size prawns can hold the marinade and easy to handle while frying.

How much time will it take

The total time taken to make the recipe is under 25 minutes. This includes the 15 minutes of preparation time and 6 -8 minutes of cooking time. The cooking time may vary depending on the types of prawns use. A medium size prawns need 3-4 minutes, large size prawns may require 4-5 minutes and jumbo prawns might need 5-6 minutes. Don't overcook the prawns else they would become rubbery in texture.

Serving prawns koliwada with green chutney onion slices and lemon wedges

How to serve the koliwada

Prawns koliwada are served hot, sprinkling some chat masala over the top of the prawns. Freshly made green chutney, few slices of onions and lemon wedges are also served as a compliments with them. Squeezing a bit of lemon juice over the prawns just before eating adds a tangy and zesty flavour. The cool and refreshing green chutney balance the heat of the spices. You can serve Indian breads like butter naan or roti as a side dish for a complete meal with prawns koliwada.

Can I make prawns koliwada in advanced?

The dish is best to enjoyed fresh and hot. You can prepare the marinade in advanced and store it separately. Before serving just marinate the prawns with the batter and fry till crispy and serve with green chutney.

Prawns koliwada recipe video

If you love this prawns koliwada recipe then I am sure you would love chicken koliwada recipe as well.

Steps to make the recipe

1. Peel, clean and devein the prawns

This step is  only required if you are using fresh prawns. Frozen prawns are generally peeled and deveined. So if you have some fresh prawns with shell then follow below steps to peel, clean and devein prawns.

Prawns with shell, cleaned and deveined for prawns koliwada recipe

First hold the prawn with one hand and use your other hand to firmly grasp the head. Twist and pull it off.  Now starting from the underside of the prawn (where the legs are), gently pinch the shell with your thumb and forefinger. Carefully peel the shell back towards the tail, working your way around the prawn.

After peeling, you get a dark or blackish vein running along the back of the prawn. This is the digestive tract and it's best to remove it. To  remove the vein, use a small, sharp knife. Make a shallow incision along the back of the prawn, following the line of the dark vein. You should be able to see the vein now. Carefully lift it out and discard it. Wash the prawn under cold running water to remove any dirt present. Pat them dry completely with a kitchen towel or napkin.

2. Marination

It is very important to go with a proper marination process to enhance the flavours and tenderness of the prawns. So here I am using two step marination process. In first marination, take the prawns in a mixing bowl. Add salt, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste and lemon juice.Give them a good mix and keep aside for 5-6 minutes to absorb the flavours.

First marinated prawns

In second marination,  add red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, carom seeds, corn flour, gram flour, chat masala, green chilli paste, garam masala, salt as per your taste and squeeze some lemon juice. 

Mixing spices and flour with prawns for prawns koliwada recipe

Now start to mix everything very well so that all parts of the prawns get well coated with the marinade batter. Add water as required to make the batter smooth. You can use beaten eggs instead of water. But the crispiness of the prawns will not last longer if you use egg. Cover and keep them marinated for 10 minutes.

Second marinated prawns for prawns koliwada

3. Frying the prawns

Take cooking oil in a kadai or large deep vessel pan. Heat the oil on medium flame fire, when the oil become hot lower the gas flame to low. Now add the batter coated prawns one by one into the oil carefully.

Fry the prawns for 4-5 minutes or till become crisp and golden. Remove the prawns in absorbent paper to absorb any excess oil. 

Crispy fried prawns koliwada

Place them in a garnished plate with onion slices, lemon wedges and green chutney. Sprinkle some chat masala over them and serve hot.

Here are some more prawns recipe for you

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use frozen prawns for the dish?

Yes you can use frozen prawns for the recipe, just make sure to thraw them properly before marinating.

2. How do I know when the prawns are cooked perfectly?

The best way to tell when prawns are cooked when they turn pink and opaque. Their tails should curl in slightly to make a C-shape. And their flesh become firm.

3. Is prawns koliwada gluten-free?

No prawns koliwada recipe is not gluten-free as flours like corn flour or rice flour are used in the marinade. You can make it gluten-free by substituting  the flour with a gluten free flour.

4. What does koliwada means?

Koliwada refers to a colony of kolis, fishermen. Several places named as koliwada are located across Mumbai city. The name reflects the heritage and influence of local fishing communities.

Frying prawns in oil for prawns koliwada recipe

6 Amazing Benefits of eating prawns

Eating prawns can offer many health benefits. Here the 6 amazing benefits of eating prawns  are 

  1. Prawns are relatively low in calories, making them a good choice for weight management.
  2. Prawns contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to heart health.
  3. Prawns contains antioxidants like astaxanthin, which can help protect cells from oxidative damage.
  4. Improve brain function.
  5. Prawns are generally low in Mercury levels, making them a safer seafood choice for pregnant women and children.
  6. Prawns provides essential vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, iodine, phosphorus and selenium.

Prawns koliwada recipe

Serving prawns koliwada in plate

Preparation time : 15 minutes, Cooking time : 5-6 minutes

Serving : 2 

Author : Mobasir hassan


  • 12-14 no. medium size Prawns( clean and devein)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon green chilli paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chat masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon carom seeds
  • 2 tablespoon corn flour
  • 3 tablespoon gram flour
  • 2 lemon wedges for juice
  • Cooking oil for frying
  1. Peel, clean and devein the prawns. Wash them under running water and pat them dry completely.
  2. Take the prawns in a mixing bowl, add half of the ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder,  half of the green chilli paste, juice from one lemon wedge and a small pinch of salt.
  3. Give them a good mix and keep aside for 5 minutes to absorb the flavours.
  4. After That add red chilli powder, carom seeds, corn flour, gram flour, chat masala, green chilli paste, salt as per taste and lemon juice.
  5. Start mixing everything to coat the prawn evenly from all sides. Add some water to make the batter smooth. Cover and keep them marinade for 10 minutes.
  6. Heat oil in a kadai or pan under medium heat flame fire. When the become hot, lower the gas flame and add the batter coated prawns one by one into the oil carefully.
  7. Fry them for 5-6 minutes or till become crisp and golden.
  8. Remove and serve them hot by sprinkling some chat masala over them.
Nutritional Vales

  • Calories: Approximately 260-310 calories
  • Protein: Approximately 27-36 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 5-11 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 42-50 grams

Note these values are approximate and can vary based on the specific ingredients and cooking methods used, as well as in portion sizes.

Expert tips to make best prawns koliwada

  • Choose fresh and firm quality prawns for the recipe.
  • Marinate the prawns for atleast 15-20 minutes for the best results.
  • Do not over cook the prawns while frying else the prawns would become rubbery. Prawns takes less time to cook completely.
  • Before applying the spices, make sure your prawns are completely pat dry.
  • Do not add beaten egg into the batter else the crispiness of the dish wouldn't last longer. Instead of egg, use water.

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