Looking for a delicious Indian starter that will amaze your guests? Look no further than Tandoori King Prawn Skewers!
These skewers are marinated in a tandoori flavoured yogurt and cooked to perfection.
You can cook them in a griddle pan, air fryer, oven or bbq grill, so they are perfect for any occasion.
With very little prep time and cooking time, the result is a succulent and flavourful dish that will please everyone at the table.
Serve tandoori prawn skewers as an appetizer or a delicious dinner; they will surely be a hit at your next event.
After the popularity of our popular tandoori chicken Indian appetizer, we adapted that delicious recipe to help make tandoori prawns.
What is Tandoori?
The history of tandoori dishes is related to being cooked in a tandoor, a clay oven fueled by charcoal or wood, and the heat is intense, so the food cooked in it has a unique smoky flavour.
Tandoori prawns are now a popular starter at Indian restaurants, served as an appetizer or main course.
Of course, in the UK, we don't have tandoor clay ovens, so this recipe has been adapted to suit the oven method, BBQ grill method, griddle/pan method and air fryer; the flavour is still similar thanks to tandoori masala powder.
The ingredients for tandoori king prawn skewers are simple and can be found at any supermarket.
It is best to use peeled fresh prawns as they soak up the tandoori yogurt and are easier to eat without fiddling with the shell.
This prawn recipe can use any size prawn that can fit on the skewer. King prawns, jumbo shrimp or large tiger prawns will all work well.
You can use frozen prawns; ensure you defrost them and remove excess liquid before marinating.
Anyone who's ever had tandoori prawn skewers knows that the key to the dish is in the marinade.
And while there are many different recipes, they all have one thing in common - yoghurt. Yoghurt helps to tenderize the prawns and gives them a creamy, tangy flavour that is essential to the dish.
Natural yoghurt or greek yogurt with a high-fat content will help keep the prawns moist and flavourful as they cook.
Using low-fat or 0% fat yoghurt makes this prawn recipe a healthy, low-fat recipe.
The meal is low-calorie and syn-free on Slimming World, the perfect option for those watching their weight.
A blend of spices packaged as tandoori masala powder, used in Indian cuisine and can be found at most supermarkets. If you cannot find it, you can make your own by mixing the following spices:
How to make Tandoori Masala Powder
To make a homemade tandoori masala, grind dried chilli peppers, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds in a spice grinder, pulse into a powder, garam masala, ground ginger, and ground cardamom to the mixture and stir until all the ingredients are evenly combined.
If you like spicy prawns, use dried cayenne pepper or powder, which is spicier than most red chilli powder blends. Or add more chilli powder.
I also like to add smoked paprika to help create that smoky flavor.
Finely minced or garlic paste/puree is best, or you can also use garlic powder.
Keep in mind that the flavour of garlic powder will be more concentrated than fresh, so start with less and add more to the taste.
Lemon gives the prawns a bit of acidity, use half the lemon for the juice, then cut the other half into wedges to serve with the tandoori prawns and salad.
You could use lime juice instead to add acidity.
Red Food Colouring
Adding red food colouring to the yoghurt marinade will give the tandoori prawns a beautiful vibrant red hue that will impress your guests.
Adding colouring is optional and will not affect the taste, so feel free to skip adding colour and leave it as a natural orangey-red colour marinade.
Use spray oil to prevent the prawns from sticking to the skewers or cooking equipment.
You could use oil, such as olive oil, rapeseed oil or sunflower oil. Alternatively, use butter or ghee.
To make tandoori king prawns, you will need the following equipment.
Bowl or Food Bag
You will need a bowl or food bag to mix & marinate the prawns in.
Use cheap disposable wooden skewers, which you can find at any supermarket. Make sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes before use.
I also like using the wooden skewers as they are easier to snap into the right size stick for what you are cooking the prawn skewers in.
Alternatively, you can use metal skewers, which I find work better on a BBQ than wooden skewers.
Something to cook in
There are many ways to cook tandoori prawns.
You can choose a griddle pan, air fryer, oven or BBQ grill. A plain frying pan will work if you haven't got any of the above.
How to make Tandoori Yogurt Marinade
To make the yoghurt marinade for prawns, mix all the ingredients; yoghurt, tandoori masala, garlic, lemon juice, and red food colouring (optional) in a large bowl to make a red yoghurt marinade. Add the prawns and mix into the marinade ingredients until well coated.
Threading Prawns onto Skewers
You can start threading the marinated prawns onto skewers immediately; you don't want to leave them to marinate too long as the lemon juice cooks the prawns.
If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water before using them, this will stop them from burning during cooking.
To thread the prawns, start by pushing the point of the skewer through the thickest part, then the tail.
The number of prawns you fit on one stick will vary on the size of the prawn and stick used.
Cooking Prawn Skewers
Now that your skewers are threaded and ready to go, it's time to cook them.
There are several different ways you can cook this tandoori prawn recipe.
You can cook them in a pan, skillet or griddle, in the oven, on a BBQ grill or even in an air fryer.
Whichever method you choose, the key is to cook on reasonably high heat but not too long. Overcooked prawns will become tough and rubbery.
Prawns are cooked when they turn pink and are slightly firm to the touch.Jump to the recipe card for cooking times.
Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves on top for flavour and colour.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Tandoori King Prawn Skewers
- Spray oil
- 300 grams King Prawn
Tandoori Marinade Ingredients
- 3 tablespoon Fat Free Yoghurt Can use full fat instead
- 2 tablespoon Tandoori Masala Spice Blend Powder
- 2 cloves Garlic Crushed
- 1 Lemon ½ for the juice, ½ sliced into wedges to serve
- 6 drops Red Food Colouring To give Tandoori Chicken Tikka a red colour
- 1 tablespoon Chopped Coriander to sprinkle on top of chicken after cooking
- Cut the skewers to the size of the pan or tray you are cooking them in.Soak wooden skewers in water if cooking on bbq. In a bowl, mix yoghurt, tandoori masala, garlic and the juice of ½ a lemon.3 tablespoon Fat Free Yoghurt, 2 tablespoon Tandoori Masala Spice Blend Powder, 2 cloves Garlic, 1 Lemon
- Optional: Use red food colouring to give a deeper red colour6 drops Red Food Colouring
- Use kitchen towels to remove excess water from the raw prawns.
- Add all the prawns and stir to coat.300 grams King Prawn
- Thread the prawns onto the kebab sticks. We made 6 sticks with 5 prawns on each stick. This will vary depending on the size of the prawn.
Decide any of the following ways to cook your tandoori prawns recipe.
- PAN/GRIDDLE: Spray pan with spray oil, cook for 3 minutes on each side.Spray oil
- AIR FRYER: Preheat to 200°C/400°F, spray with oil and air fry for about 8 minutes. No need to turn halfway through.
- OVEN:Spray a foiled tray with oil and cook in a preheated oven at 180°C Fan / 200°C Conventional, 400°F / Gas mark 6 for about 12-15 minutes turning halfway through cooking time.
- BBQ / Grill: spray grill plates with oil and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
- Always check the prawn is cooked through.
- Sprinkle fresh coriander on top.Serve with salad and a wedge of lemon. Or with rice or in a wrap!?1 tablespoon Chopped Coriander
These Indian prawn skewers are usually served as an Indian starter. Serve at your dinner party with lemon wedges, chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), with mint yogurt raita and mango chutney on the side.
I like to serve mine with a simple salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and red onion or make a Indian Kachumber Salad.
This tandoori prawns recipe can also be enjoyed as part of the main course with other curry dishes.
Tandoori King Prawn Skewers can be stored in the fridge and eaten the next day.
Can you reheat prawns?
The answer is yes, but there are a few things you need to know.
First, you can only reheat prawns once due to a higher risk of bacteria making them unsafe.
Secondly, you must ensure they are heated thoroughly before serving.
The best way to do this is to put them in a pan with a splash of cold water and heat them over medium heat until they are piping hot.
So there you have it: with a bit of care, you can enjoy delicious cooked shrimp even if you have leftovers.
More prawn recipes
More Skewer Recipes
Check out our other recipes made on kebab skewers too.
We hope you enjoyed making these Tandoori King Prawn Skewers. If you have any questions or suggestions, please comment below. Happy cooking!