Spicy prawn cakes

Spicy prawn cakes

I Love Curry
20 small cakes
Jonathan Gregson

These Goan-inspired cakes are delicious and moreish; perfect as canapés. You can buy finely grated frozen coconut in many Asian supermarkets; keep it in the freezer and defrost the amount you need. If you can’t find any, use unsweetened desiccated coconut. These prawn cakes are delicious simply with a squeeze of lime or lemon, or with Tangy Herb Chutney. If you choose the chutney, try adding a couple of spoons of coconut to the recipe, then adjust the tartness.


Quantity Ingredient
4 cloves
2.5cm cinnamon stick
10 black peppercorns
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
16g fresh root ginger, peeled weight, chopped
4 fat garlic cloves, chopped
salt, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4-1 1/4 teaspoons chilli powder, or to taste
400g small-to-medium raw prawns, shelled, deveined and rinsed
4 large slices white bread, crusts removed, made into crumbs
80g finely grated frozen coconut
or 4 tablespoons unsweetened desiccated coconut
2 eggs, beaten
large handful chopped fresh coriander


  1. Using a sturdy mortar and pestle, pound the whole spices to a powder.
  2. Heat half the oil in a small non-stick saucepan and fry the onion until softened and turning golden at the edges. Add the ginger and garlic and cook on a gentle flame for a couple of minutes, or until the garlic is cooked. Add the salt and all the spices and cook, stirring, for another 20 seconds. Add the prawns and stir-fry until cooked (around two minutes).
  3. Tip everything from the pan into a blender with the crumbs and coconut and roughly blend to a coarse paste; a few larger pieces of prawn left in the mix is ideal. Taste and adjust the seasoning and chilli, then stir in the egg and the chopped coriander. Set aside and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Make small balls from the mixture and pat into 5cm cakes. Shallow-fry gently for two or three minutes each side, until golden, crisp and heated through to the centre. You will need to do this in two batches.
  5. Serve with lime or lemon wedges or Tangy Herb Chutney.
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