How to make Hemant Bhagwani’s Bombay Prawns

“This recipe was inspired by a trip I took to Bombay [Mumbai, India] in 2019 when I travelled around to Irani cafés, encountering wonderful flavours and dining experiences,” says chef Hemant Bhagwani of his Bombay Prawns recipe. “It influenced the dishes at Bom-Bay Snack Bar and made me want to honour this Indian cultural practice that I am very fond of by giving Toronto a taste.”


  • 12 x 6-8 inch peeled tiger prawns 
  • 2 ½ tbsp corn flour
  • 2 ½ tbsp rice flour
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp red cayenne pepper 
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup water 
  • Oil for deep frying 
  • 1 lime
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp HB Magic Masala (see below)

HB Magic Masala

  • 100 ml vegetable oil 
  • 40 g garlic, finely chopped 
  • 30 g desiccated coconut 
  • 10 g deggi mirch chili powder
  • 4 g salt 


To make HB Magic Masala:

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and brown the garlic until crispy. Set aside on paper towel.
  2. Heat a clean frying pan, add coconut and toast slowly until light golden.
  3. Combine garlic, coconut, salt and chili powder and grind using a mortar and pestle.
  4. Store in kitchen paper in an airtight container for later use.

To make Bombay Prawns:

  1. Wash the prawns and drain them completely.
  2. Marinate the prawns with chopped curry leaves, half of cayenne powder, a dash of lime juice and set aside.
  3. Combine rice flour, corn flour, garam masala, salt, green chilies, remaining cayenne powder and ginger garlic paste to make a batter.
  4. Add water to the batter.
  5. Dredge the prawns in the batter and deep fry in hot oil until golden.
  6. Set aside to drain on paper towel.
  7. Serve hot, sprinkled with HB Magic Masala powder and lime wedge.

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