“On a trip to Auckland to visit my cousins, we decided to rent out a bach (a beach house) and spend Christmas at the beach,” remembers food writer and photographer Nik Sharma.

“We grilled all week and ate a lot of ice cream, as one does in New Zealand. Because shrimp cooks quickly, it became the appetiser of choice to eat while our food cooked on the grill. This dish brings back fond memories of that special holiday.”

Masala shrimp from The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained + More Than 100 Essential Recipes by Nik Sharma
(Nik Sharma/PA)
Masala shrimp from The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained + More Than 100 Essential Recipes by Nik Sharma
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Masala shrimp
Amount Per Serving
Calories 128 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 187mg62%
Sodium 619mg27%
Potassium 140mg4%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 201IU4%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 117mg12%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Masala shrimp

A speedy spicy prawn dish
Prep Time6 mins
Cook Time4 mins
Marinating time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Calories: 128kcal
Author: Nik Sharma


  • Large bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Medium stainless-steel or cast-iron skillet


  • 445 g raw medium shrimp peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and grated
  • 2.5 cm piece fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp minced chives for garnish
  • 1 lime quartered, for garnish


  • Rinse the shrimp under cold running water, pat dry with clean paper towels, and place in a large bowl.
  • Combine one tablespoon of the oil and the garlic, ginger, tomato paste, lime juice, garam masala, cayenne, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the shrimp, season with salt, and fold to coat evenly. Let sit for five minutes.
  • Heat the remaining one tablespoon of oil in a medium stainless-steel or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp with the liquids in the bowl to the hot oil and sauté until they turn pink, three to four minutes. The tomato paste and shrimp might make it tricky to determine the pink colour, so cut a piece of the shrimp in half; the flesh inside should be completely tender and white in addition to the outer surface and tail turning pink.
  • Transfer the shrimp to a serving plate. Garnish with the chives. Serve immediately with the lime quarters on the side.


THE FLAVOUR APPROACH: The heat from the cayenne and spices in the garam masala are amplified by the addition of lime juice. Lime juice also helps denature the proteins in the shrimp, which cook even faster once heated, so do not over-marinate the shrimp, or they will get rubbery.


Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 187mg | Sodium: 619mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 201IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 2mg

The Flavor Equation: The Science Of Great Cooking Explained + More Than 100 Essential Recipes by Nik Sharma, is published by Chronicle Books. Photography by Nik Sharma. 

The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained in More Than 100 Essential Recipes
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Sharma, Nik (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update on 2021-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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