Prawn Patio

A generous amount of red onion cooks down into a jammy, caramelized spread, adding a silky, savory contrast to the quickly cooked lemony shrimp in this traditional Parsi side dish. Cilantro stems and leaves add a bold, herbal crunch.

Prawn Patio
Prawn Patio. Photo: Eva Kolenko
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 1 pound prawns or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil (such as grapeseed or peanut)

  • 4 large red onions, finely chopped (about 8 cups)

  • 4 medium-size fresh serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired, and finely chopped (about 3 tablespoon)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

  • 2 small bunches fresh cilantro, stems and leaves separated

  • cup ketchup

  • ¼ cup Green Chutney

  • ¼ cup Brooklyn Delhi tomato achaar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • Dhan Dar, for serving


  1. Toss together prawns and lemon juice in a large bowl; let stand, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Rinse and drain well; set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a wok or large high-sided skillet over high. Add onions, serrano chiles, and garlic; cook, stirring often, until onions are golden brown and softened, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut cilantro stems into 1-inch pieces; set aside. Roughly chop cilantro leaves; keep separate from stems, and set aside.

  3. Stir ketchup, green chutney, tomato achaar, and salt into onion mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to caramelize around edges of pan, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in prawns; cook, stirring occasionally, until prawns are opaque and almost cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, vinegar, cilantro stems, and half of cilantro leaves. Cook, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved and cilantro is wilted, about 1 minute. Garnish with remaining cilantro leaves. Serve immediately with dhan dar. 

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