Chilli prawns with red onion and turmeric khichdi

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Vineet Bhatia's khichdi recipe is served with crispy chilli prawns and a vibrant herb chutney, making an easy yet indulgent seafood recipe. You can easily double the quantities of all the components to make it a main course, or keep it as a delightful prawn starter.

First published in 2015




Herb chutney

Red onion, cumin and turmeric khichdi

Crispy prawns


  • 6cm ring mould


To make the herb chutney, place all of the ingredients except the mayonnaise in a food processor and blitz to form a smooth paste, adding a very small amount of water if necessary
Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise and check the seasoning. If you store this chutney in the fridge, it will keep its bright green colour for 2 days
  • 1 tbsp of mayonnaise
For the khichdi, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan and add the cumin seeds. As they splutter, add the garlic and sauté for a minute over a medium heat. Add the ginger, chilli and red onion and sauté for 2 minutes
Add the turmeric and rice and cook for 2 minutes longer. Pour in the warmed vegetable stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is almost done
Add the yoghurt, season with salt and continue cooking until the rice is tender. Finally, stir in the second tablespoon of butter and chopped coriander
To make the crispy prawns, beat the eggs, coriander, chilli powder, cornflour and some salt with 2 tablespoons of ice-cold water to make a smooth batter. The cold water helps to keep the batter crisp
Heat the oil to 180°C in a deep-fryer or a deep saucepan (if you don’t have a thermometer, check it is hot enough by adding a cube of bread to the oil. It should start to bubble and fry, but not burn, the moment it has been added)
  • vegetable oil
Dip the prawns in the batter without coating the tails, then drain off the excess and deep-fry in the hot oil until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper
  • 8 prawns, de-veined tail with the shells left on
To serve, pipe or drizzle the herb chutney on to 4 plates and place a 6cm ring mould in the centre. Spoon in the khichdi, then remove the mould and place 2 prawns on the rice
First published in 2015

While Vineet Bhatia has borrowed from European traditions to plate up his food, the manner and matter of his dishes are unmistakably those of India, handled with immense sophistication and personal panache.

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