If there’s one thing on my mind when I land in Mumbai, it’s how soon I get to the local Koliwada stall to get my fix of Koliwada Prawns. Koliwada refers to a colony of Kolis or fishermen and there are several colonies all over Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. And of course these fishermen have the most exquisite fish markets in their colonies where they sell the freshest seafood straight out of the Indian Ocean. Prawn & Fish Koliwada originated from such a Koli and has made it’s way across food stalls and restaurants in Mumbai, the state of Maharashtra and all over India. It was rumoured to have been invented by a sardar actually and hence its also popular in Punjabi cuisine. And why stop at India, today it’s made it’s way into my kitchen in Canada.

And I hope this new & improved recipe makes it’s way to your kitchen soon.
This recipe is super simple – delicious prawns or shrimp, gram & regular flours, spices, ginger and garlic. When they hit that oil, they are super crunchy and will be devoured immediately.

Prawn Koliwada

5 from 3 votes


Prawn & Marinade

  • 300 gms Tiger Prawns
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ajwain seeds Bishop’s weed, Carom or Caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp Ginger & Garlic paste
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime


  • 3 tbsps Gram flour Besan or Chana ka atta
  • 3 tbsps Rice Flour
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 2 tbsps Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1/4 tsp of red food colouring
  • 1 tbsp chopped Coriander
  • 1 – 2 tbsps of Water
  • 2 tsps Baking powder
  • Salt to taste


  • Shell & devein the Prawns and butterfly them (optional)
  • Add all the marinade ingredients and keep aside for about 30 mins
  • Prepare the batter by adding all the batter ingredients together
  • Add the Baking powder at the end when you’re ready to coat and fry the Prawns
  • Heat some oil and add the Prawns covered with the batter into the hot oil
  • Cool for a few minutes till the batter is nice and crispy