Prawns Fry

Updated: May 17, 2024, By Swasthi

Prawns fry is a dish of stir fried shrimp with onions, spices and herbs. It is super quick to make under 20 mins and tastes delicious. Serve it as a side or roll it in your roti, chapati or tortillas to make a quick wrap. This simple shrimp fry is made in South Indian Style and is known as royyala vepudu.

Prawns Fry - Indian Shrimp Stir Fry

The recipe starts with a brief marinade where you toss the cleaned shrimps with a few ground spices, salt and lemon juice. Rest them briefly for 10 mins until you chop the onion and get the other ingredients ready. This step helps the prawns to get rid of raw seafood smell and soak up the flavors of the spices.

While you can make this without onions for a super-fast dish, I prefer to use them to add some flavour and body. The stir fried onions also soak up the flavors of the shrimp and actually taste very good. You can also transform this to a prawn ghee rice by stirring in some cooked rice and additional ghee. This is how we often eat at home.

The other options would be to serve this with rice-rasam, Lemon rice, Ghee rice, Kuska or coconut rice and coconut milk rice. A raita or plain yogurt compliments the meal.

I have used tiger prawns here, you may use any other of choice including the small baby prawns. Also to save time you may opt to use cleaned shrimp (deveined & tails removed). You don’t need to follow the recipe exactly, just use all the spices to preference & heat tolerance.

I used garam masala here but for flavor variations you may use other spice blends, like example:
Use ground black pepper and ground fennel to make pepper fry
Use pav bhaji masala for a different flavour
Kadai masala is another spice blend I use a lot of times.
This Madras Curry Powder is my new favorite for a punch of South Indian flavors.

More Shrimp Recipes you may like
Prawn Curry
Shrimp Tikka Masala
Prawn Pulao
Chilli Prawns
Prawn Biryani
Shrimp Pakora

Photo Guide

How to make Prawns Fry (Stepwise Photos)

1. Devein and clean prawns. I used about 10 tiger prawns (200 grams). Rinse them thoroughly. To remove fishy smell, they can be rinsed with water and little vinegar. You can also use lemon juice and salt to rinse. If using frozen prawns, you will need to soak in hot water for a while. This will help to soften them. Drain off water completely. Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice and ½ tablespoon oil. Mix well.

Cleaned prawns in a bowl

2. Add 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste, ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chili powder, ⅛ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala and ½ teaspoon coriander powder (optional). Mix and set aside for at least 10 minutes, while you chop the onions and green chili.

marinade in a bowl

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil or ghee in a hot pan. Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and a green cardamom (optional).

spices sizzling in a pan

4. When the seeds begin to sizzle, stir in the onions and slit chilies. Sprinkle a pinch of salt.

sauteing onions

5. Saute until the onions turn transparent or light golden and add the marinated prawns.

add marinade

6. Add curry leaves and stir fry until they swirl up to a C shape.

addition of curry leaves

7. The prawns will swirl up completely, meaning they are cooked thoroughly. If you want add more red chili powder, salt and stir fry for just a minute. 1 tbsp fresh grated coconut can also be added at this stage. Stir fry until the coconut begin to smell good.

addition of chili powder to the stir fried prawns

Serve prawns fry with rice. You can also add some cooked basmati rice, little more ghee, salt to the pan. Mix and stir to make prawn ghee rice.

Prawns Fry Recipe

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

Prawns Fry Recipe

Prawns Fry Recipe

4.97 from 51 votes
South Indian Style stir fried shrimp with ground spices, herbs and onions. Goes well as a side with rice, roti or roll them in wraps, with a smear of green or mint chutney.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )


  • 200 grams (10 large) prawns (or use small variety)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon oil
  • teaspoon ginger garlic paste (or 1 tsp each grated)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (more if required)
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon Indian red chili powder
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder (optional)

other ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil (or ghee)
  • 1 green cardamom (elaichi, optional)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium (½ cup) onion (sliced)
  • 1 green chili slit
  • 1 to 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon Indian chili powder (to adjust heat level, optional)


How to make Prawns Fry

  • To a mixing bowl, add prawns, lemon juice, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, salt and coriander powder. Mix well and keep aside until you chop the onion, for 10 mins.
  • Heat oil or ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds and cardamom. When the seeds begin to sizzle, add onions and green chili. Saute until transparent to light golden.
  • Add marinated prawns and curry leaves. Stir fry on a medium heat until cooked through and they swirl to a C shape. If you overcook, they can turn chewy and rubbery. Your meat thermometer should read 145 F or 63 C. You may taste test and add more salt, lemon or red chili at this stage.
  • Serve Prawns Fry with rice or ghee rice.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Prawns Fry Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 146 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.04g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Sodium 384mg17%
Potassium 160mg5%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 198IU4%
Vitamin C 31mg38%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Very good and easy to follow

5 stars
Tried your recepie for prawns.
Turned out well.
Thank You.

5 stars
Just made your shrimp fry and it came out very well. We had it with coarse upma. Thank you.

5 stars
Your recipes never fail me, I can always rely on them. Thanks so much!

5 stars
Very useful..
I love all her recipes. All come out sooo well.
Keep it up.
I am just 12 yrs and I can cook by reading her recipes. They are easy and delict…

5 stars
Very tasty and very easy dish..My family loved it

5 stars
I have tried several of your recipes and they have turned out absolutely great. You are my go to for yummy food. Thank you so much for the lovely recipes you post.

Hi Swasthi,

I was planning to make your prawns fry recipe, was wanting to keep them marinated overnight in refrigerator.
When they’ll be bought fresh from market, I might need around 2hrs or more to devein, wash & marinate them, as I might not be able to do this immediately.
Till then how to store them & keep them fresg.
Freezing without cleaning might increase the work.
Can they be kept at room temperature or refrigerator without being cleaned.

Please advise.

Thank you so much for the detailed explanation Swasthi?..

What can be used instead of lemon juice for marination over 30-40mins or overnight, as I tend to keep fish marinated over an hour at times at room temperature before frying.
Will white vinegar be a good substitute?

Please asvise

Great.. thank you so much for the tip.
Is this applicable only to fish or chicken as well

5 stars
Hi Swasthi.. We tried the prawn recipe. It was truly delicious. Thanks for sharing!!

4 stars
Loved the ease with which the dish can be prepared. It’s lip smacking too…

Hi team,
I have tried most of your recipes like veg and non veg briyani,dhal fry,veg kurma and other veg dry items everything comes very well my husband says very tasty I was the girl who didn’t cook any items tasty before wedding but your recipes made me to tell that I am a very good cook thanks a ton to the team who is sharing such a nice and tasty recipes

5 stars
This is amazing article and very useful website for veg and non veg cooking recipes

Easy n delicious

5 stars

It simply superb recipes

4 stars
Easy to make yet great on taste!

5 stars
Awesome your recipes are damn superb. I also tried your kuska rice raita and payasam . All tasty good work

wow its very tastt thank u.

Nice recipes.. Can u send me recipes plzzzzzzz zzzzzz mam on my id

wow chalabagundhi