Tandoori Jhinga or Jheenga
Most people do not have a Tandoor Oven at home. This is an easy and delicious dish, which is great for cooking on bamboo skewers on a BBQ, or it can also be cooked on a griddle/frying pan/wok/karahi/under a hot grill. Adding too many spices spoils the taste of prawns, so keep it simple. The best tandoori prawns I have ever had were at a tiny road side eatery in Yemen, many, many years ago. It was not even a small restaurant, just a man sitting with a charcoal stove and a basket full of freshly caught prawns! Serves 2-4
500 gm. uncooked, large prawns (they look grey-blue)
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated/crushed/finely chopped
Juice of 1/4 lemon/lime
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 level tsp. chilli powder (adjust to taste or omit)
1-2 tbsp. olive or other good oil.
Salt to taste
I remove the shell, leaving just the tail, but you can leave prawns unpeeled. Remove head and de-vein (remove the black, thread like intestine from the outer curve of each prawn).
Wash and leave in a colander to drain fully.
Place all ingredients, along with prawns, in a bowl and mix well. Leave in a sealed box in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Cooking methods are listed below. Prawns are cooked when they turn orange. Do not overcook.:
Thread 3-4 prawns on each bamboo skewer* and cook on a BBQ, turning a few times.
Skewered prawns can also be cooked on a hot griddle.
Spread out loose prawns on a hot griddle/heavy bottomed frying pan and cook on both sides (see main picture).
Spread out prawns on a tray and cook under a hot grill.
Stir fry them in a hot wok or karahi.
Bamboo skewers should be soaked in water for half an hour before use. This stops them from burning on the BBQ.
Do not overcook prawns, they become stingy and tough.
Tandoori Prawns Ajwaini (carom flavoured): For an alternative flavour, add 1 tsp. of carom seeds to the marinade.