Shrimp Masala

This is my mom’s recipe for shrimp masala and keeping it simple is the key to this recipe as I think it brings out the best flavor of the shrimp. The ones we get in India are called prawns. Though prawns and shrimp are very similar, they are not the same but it does not matter which one you get as long as you pick the smaller sized ones which will taste the best. You can read more about the difference here. I always prefer fresh shrimp over the frozen ones. I get them from the Asian market and de-vein them myself as in most stores, the de-veined ones are always frozen. I admit that it is an arduous task but it is worth all the effort. You can de-vein them the previous day and refrigerate to save time.



Shrimp – 1 pound
Onion, finely chopped – 2 cups
Tomato, finely chopped – 3/4 cup
Garlic – crushed – 6 to 8
Turmeric – a pinch
Chilli powder – 4 tsp
Coriander powder – 3 tsp
Cilantro, finely chopped – 3 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp


  • Clean and de-vein the shrimp
  • Heat 1/4 cup oil in a pan
  • Add garlic and onion and saute well
  • When the onion turns translucent, add the tomatoes and saute for couple more minutes
  • Add the shrimp and saute for few more minutes till they start changing color
  • Add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt
  • Add 1-1.5 cups water. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes
  • Open lid and continue to cook until all the water is absorbed
  • Add cilantro and saute well
  • Add extra 2 tbsp oil if needed and saute till the masala thickens and coats the shrimp
  • Serve hot with rice

Leave a Reply