‘GunPowder’ Prawns

Only for a South Indian can ‘gunpowder’ mean something delicious!

Gunpowder is a fiery spice blend that often graces the breakfast tables of many South Indian regions. It is usually mixed with ghee/clarified butter or sometimes just vegetable oil and used as a condiment to dosas and idlis (both breakfast staples of the region).


Now with a name like gunpowder, it’s rather obvious that this blend is indeed a spicy and fiery one. The ghee is usually added to tone down the heat but let’s not kid ourselves; this one is still hot and for those with stronger palates.

But today, we are shaking things up a bit. Since I am clearly not a morning person (as most of you know), I am taking this breakfast favourite to spice up my favourite ingredient – seafood!

Gunpowder prawns. Yes, that’s what I am calling today’s dish.


Get your hands on the juiciest tiger prawns you can, nothing less would do to make this lip smacking delicacy that is definitely a conversation starter.

It’s a pretty simple and straightforward recipe; even making gunpowder is no rocket science. The ingredients are few and the process simple. I have incorporated familiar South Indian flavours which are all present to complement the heat of the gunpowder. And you will see that the prawns can absorb a lot of the heat so that the final dish is actually not very spicy unless you add loads of the spice blend which I do not recommend anyway.

Since I wanted more prawny flavours (for lack of a better word!), I sautéed the shells first with butter and shallots and then added the prawns. But if you cannot stand the smell or if you are not comfortable with the step, just sauté the onions without the shells and toss in the prawns.



1. 600 gms tiger prawns (with shells)
2. 3-4 tsp gunpowder
3. Salt, to season
4. 2 tbsp butter
5. 1 sprig curry leaves; finely sliced

For full recipe, click here….



Recipe developed, styled and photographed for Supreme Seafood. 


Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

19 thoughts on “‘GunPowder’ Prawns

  1. RecipeTin (@Recipe_Tin) August 11, 2016 at 11:01 am Reply

    Wow! What a delish dish! I know you said this is spicy and fiery, but why am I still so attracted to it? :)) It’s nice to know something about gunpowder! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya August 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm Reply

      Yup it is fiery like the name suggests. But its an interesting spice blend that can be tweaked for all kinds of palates. Guess it’s the name that is attractive!!


  2. Kankana August 12, 2015 at 3:26 am Reply

    That’s one of my fav spice and at times when am out of ideas, I just throw a tablespoon in my curry, and pop it makes the sauce looks so vibrant. Love the flavor. Do you know how to make the spice at home?

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya August 12, 2015 at 4:12 am Reply

      Absolutely agree; just follow the link provided in the post Kankana, the recipe for the gunpowder is there.


  3. Sandhya August 11, 2015 at 2:05 pm Reply

    I am drooling!!! I love seafood and this looks awesome. have to try them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya August 12, 2015 at 12:24 am Reply

      awesome to hear that Sandhya; do try it and let me know your experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandhya August 12, 2015 at 3:38 am

        I sure will!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Bronnie - Maid In Australia August 11, 2015 at 10:56 am Reply

    Oh these look amazing! I can’t wait to try them. Loving the gunpowder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya August 11, 2015 at 11:03 am Reply

      Its a great blend Bronnie, if you are ready to think outside the box. Tomorrow, I am planning to sprinkle it on boneless chicken pieces for lunchbox wraps


  5. fergie51 August 11, 2015 at 10:53 am Reply

    This sounds wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. John @ heneedsfood August 11, 2015 at 8:47 am Reply

    Ooh this sounds delicious! I just read the recipe and it’s so easy to make. Must try this!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. elsonsequeira August 11, 2015 at 6:30 am Reply

    I just died and went to heaven when i seen those prawns.

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya August 11, 2015 at 7:20 am Reply

      Elson…wish there was a seafood heaven!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • elsonsequeira August 11, 2015 at 7:21 am

        Nice concept though…. would you reckon grilling the prawns to be a better idea.

        Liked by 1 person

      • vanyadhanya August 11, 2015 at 7:24 am

        If you are skipping the shell step, then grilling is definitely a good idea. I chose to pan fry to suit the requirements of the client.


      • elsonsequeira August 11, 2015 at 7:28 am

        Ahh!!! You are really rocking it with seafood.. Did u try the clams recipe.

        Liked by 1 person

      • vanyadhanya August 11, 2015 at 8:56 am

        Not yet; havent found good clams lately.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: