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Prawn Idlis

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Indian restaurant style prawn Idlis

These prawn idlis are so good sprinkled with gunpowder and dipped in homemade chilli chutney.

There are lots of recipes for idli batter but they are all quite similar. Here is one of mine.

This is more of an idea than a recipe as you do need to make the idli batter before starting. You can either use my fail-safe recipe or use one of your own.

The prawns should be the freshest you can find. They can be added as they are but I like to marinate mine in oil, chilli, coriander and lime juice for about 20 minutes. Don’t marinate in lime juice for more that 20 minutes or the prawns will begin to cook in the acid and will become tough.

You will need idli moulds like those featured below. You can purchase them at Asian grocers or online. Mine came from my friends at Spices of India. These days, I couldn’t be without my idli trays and pan. Love them!

To make these idlis even more flavoursome, I sprinkled them with homemade gunpowder. You can find my recipe here. These can be dipped in your favourite raita or chutney. Give my homemade chilli sambol are try.


prawn idlis

Simply steam the idlis as normal but add a marinated or plain prawn.

Prawn idlis

As they steam, they’ll puff right up into beautiful prawn idlis.

Prawn idlis

Get in!

Prawn idlis

Don’t forget the chilli chutney!

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Yield: 20

Prawn Idlis

Prawn Idlis
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes


  • 1 quantity idli batter
  • 1-2 prawns per idli
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or rapeseed oil
  • 2 red chilli - finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander - finely chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • Gunpowder to garnish


  1. Prepare your batter as per my recipe or another.
  2. Marinate your raw prawns in the oil, chilli, coriander and lime juice for no more than 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, brign three inches of water to a boil in an idli pan.
  4. Pour the batter into the idli moulds and then place in the idli pan and cover.
  5. Steam for about 12 minutes. The idlis will rise and harden. They are ready when you stick a fork or toothpick into one and it comes out clean.
  6. Remove the idlis from the idli pan and allow to sit for about two minutes. This makes it easier to remove them.
  7. Using a small knife, remove the idlis and transfer to a serving plate. Dust with the gunpowder and serve with a selection of your favourite chutneys and/or raitas.

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