Coconut and Indian Spiced Tempura Prawns

, from Issue #27. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Coconut and Indian Spiced Tempura Prawns


20 large peeled raw prawns, tails on

Tempura batter
1 cup coconut cream, chilled
1⁄2 cup soda water, chilled
1⁄2 cup tempura batter*
1-2 tablespoons mild or spicy Indian spice mix**
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt

To cook
1-2 cups long thread coconut
canola oil for frying


Heat 6 cm of canola oil in a medium-sized, deep saucepan or wok until 170 ̊C. A deep fry thermometer is useful here.

Put the coconut cream and soda water in a large bowl. Combine the tempura batter, spice mix, sesame seeds and salt and gently mix into the coconut cream to make a lumpy batter.

To cook: Put the coconut in a bowl and have an empty plate next to it. Dip a prawn in the tempura batter, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Holding the prawn over the plate, sprinkle with the coconut. If you hold it over the bowl of coconut, it will become glued with batter. Carefully place in the oil and cook for 2 minutes until golden and crisp, turning over after 1 minute. Drain on kitchen towels. Cook only as many prawns as will comfortably fit in the pan at once. Makes 20.

Cook's tips:

*Packets of tempura batter are available in the international section of good supermarkets, at Asian shops and specialty food stores.

**Taste your spice mix before adding and determine how much to add once you know how hot it is.