Shrimp pakora recipe – Shrimp fritters popularly known as prawn pakora are a street snack in some parts of India. These crisp fried shrimps are relished as a an appetizer or as a tea time snack. These are mostly eaten with a spicy chutney or sauce. Basically pakoras are aromatic crisp fried Indian fritters made with gram flour, spices and herbs. These can be made with any ingredient like onions, veggies, lentils, chicken or even with shrimps.
Apart from the onion pakora & bread pakora, these shrimp fritters too are quite popular in the Andhra restaurant menus. There are quite a few different ways these are made.
The recipe needs only a few basic ingredients like onions, your favorite herbs, spices and more importantly some fresh or frozen shrimps. However I have made these with tiger prawns.
These shrimp fritters are quite easy to make and they can also be grilled in a oven.
If you have ever eaten an Indian pakora then you know what are those key ingredient that go into making these. However I have some substitutions for you with which you can try.
Gram flour or besan is used in most of the Indian fritters as it lends a unique nutty aroma. If you do not have it then, you may use yellow corn flour.
Curry leaves or mint: I prefer my shrimp pakoras with curry leaves & mint. You can use any one or both. Both give different flavors to the fritters.
Garam masala is a Indian spice powder. If you do not have it, then you may use some curry powder. Here I have used very little garam masala. Don’t use a lot of it for sea foods else the original flavor of the sea food would be lost.
These shrimp pakoras can be also be grilled in an oven. Spray some oil ones the fritters are done.
Do adjust all the spices to suit your taste.
1. Peel, devein and rinse the shrimps or prawns very well. Drain water completely.
2. Marinate prawns with red chili powder, salt and turmeric. Keep this aside for 10 minutes. I also added a bit of lemon juice.
How to make shrimp pakora
3. Heat oil in a deep pan or kadai.
4. Add ginger garlic paste, chilies, curry leaves, sliced onions, flour, garam masala and a bit of salt. Mix gently to coat the prawns well with all the ingredients.
5.I forgot to add garam masala at this step so I added later. I did not add water, the moisture from the prawns and lemon juice was sufficient to bind the prawns well. But if your mixture looks dry, just sprinkle a tsp of water and mix.
5. When the oil is hot, turn the flame to medium high, take each prawn along with some onions and curry leaves batter and drop it in the oil. Do not add too many at one time.
6. Prawns tend to get burnt faster, so take care. Flip them to the other side and fry till golden. Fry all the prawns in batches
7. This is an optional step. When you finish frying all the prawn fritters, add them back to hot oil and repeat frying them for a minute, this gives a good crunchy texture to the pakora. Drain them on a kitchen tissue
Serve them with a sauce or mint chutney.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 2 to 3 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or rice flour
- 1 small onion sliced thinly
- 1 sprig curry leaves or 8 mint leaves chopped
- 1 green chilli chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (crushed ginger garlic)
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder or any spice powder
- ⅓ teaspoon salt as needed for the batter
- oil for deep frying
- 10 shrimp (or tiger prawns, 300 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt as needed
How to make the recipe
- Devein, peel and clean prawns/ shrimp. Rinse well and drain them completely.
- Marinate shrimp with red chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and salt.
How to make shrimp fritters
- Heat oil in a deep pan for deep frying.
- While the oil heats, sprinkle gram flour, cornstarch, more salt and curry leaves.
- Mix gently to coat the shrimps well with dry flours. If needed sprinkle 1 tsp. water and mix. The mix must be just moist enough. If there is lot of moisture, the fritters won't turn crisp.
- When the oil is hot enough, do a heat test by dropping a small portion of dough to the oil. It has to rise steadily and not brown too quickly. This is the right temperature.
- Once the oil is hot, put the flame to medium high, hold each prawn along with some onions, curry leaves batter and gently slide to the hot oil. If you are using smaller kind then, you can group them to 2 or 3 and fry.
- Take care not to burn them, flip them to the other side and fry till golden & crisp. Drain them on a colander or absorbent tissue. Fry all the shrimps in batches.
- Once you finish frying all the pakora, repeat frying them for a minute, this gives a good crunchy texture to the fritters.
- Shrimp fritters are best served while hot, they begin to lose the crunch after a while.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
This post if from the archives, first published in July 2014. Republished in June 2020.