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Sri Lankan devilled prawns

An authentic recipe for Sri Lankan devilled prawns

  • Author: Tooting Mama
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: main course
  • Cuisine: Sri Lankan


  • 2 tbs coconut oil / vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion sliced into half moons
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped 
  • 2 cm of ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, cut lengthways (deseeded if you want to reduce the heat)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric 
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced / 1 tomato roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 500g of prawns, ideally fresh with heads and legs taken off
  • Salt


1. Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan

2. Add the onions and start to cook them, when they soften add the garlic, ginger and chilli. 

3. Now add the dry spices with the tomatoes and quickly stir these into the onions allow the onions to cook down well but they should not burn. If you think the ingredients are looking like they’re drying out, add a splash of water.

4. In quick succession add the vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sugar – followed by the prawns

5. Stir fry the prawns until they are cooked, and the onions are looking caramelised. Any liquid should be cooked down until a sticky sauce coats the prawns, add a little salt to lift the flavour.

6. Serve hot – with rice, or simply as an appetiser.

7. This is perfect with a bottle of Sri Lankan Lion Beer