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Sri Lankan deviled prawns recipe

Sri Lankan deviled prawns recipe

In Sri Lanka, “deviled” means spicy.

Anything with deviled in the title means you are going to have a foodgasm of flavours going on in your mouth!

Sri Lankans love their food spicy. But the reddish appearance of devilled prawns is not from the red chillies, but from the tomato sauce used.

This recipe was enough to fill up these two greedy boys.

Learning to cook deviled prawns

Learning to cook deviled prawns at our home stay in Ella

Ingredients for deviled prawns

  • around 500g of prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large chunk of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon of tomato sauce or ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons of chilli powder
  • 1 chopped red chilli (or half to make it less spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped – for garnish
Sri Lankan deviled prawns

Sri Lankan deviled prawns recipe

How to make deviled prawns

  1. Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and add the chopped onions. Cook on a high heat, uncovered for around 5 minutes until they are golden brown (keep stirring every so often to avoid them sticking to the pan).
  2. Mix in the chopped garlic, chilli powder and ginger, cook on a medium heat for 1 minute, stirring.
  3. Mix in the 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce (or ketchup), 1 chopped green chill, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  4. Add the prawns and cook until they become a pink colour (around 3 minutes) – careful not to over cook.
  5. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, add a pinch of salt and pepper to flavour, remove from heat.
  6. Garnish with the chopped fresh coriander and serve with rice.

Watch our travel video diary of our adventures through Sri Lanka as we ate our way through this tropical island, took some beautiful train journeys and enjoyed excellent safaris spotting leopards at Udawalawe and blue whales at Mirissa.

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Sebastien is the co-founder, editor and author of He is a tech geek, a total travel nerd and a food enthusiast. He spends the majority of his time planning Nomadic Boys' travels meticulously right down to the minute details. Sebastien has travelled to over 80 countries with his partner in crime and the love of his life, Stefan. He regularly shares his expertise of what it’s like travelling as a gay couple both on Nomadic Boys and on prominent publications ranging from Pink News, Matador, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and many more. Originally from France, Sebastien moved to London in the early 2000s where he pursued a career as a computer programmer for Thompson Reuters and Bloomberg. He subsequently left it all to explore his passion for travelling around the world with Stefan to hand, and thus Nomadic Boys was born.

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Supriya Kutty

Monday 23rd of December 2019

I like the way you have explained this wonderful dish with us today. I am sure that with all that tomato the prawns must be nice and tangy. I really appreciate the efforts you have taken to post this wonderful blog post. I will definitely make this recipe at home and let you know how it tastes.

Stefan Arestis

Monday 17th of February 2020


Tuesday 11th of December 2018



Thursday 19th of July 2018

Ive done and it was like beeing in Sri Lanka again! Thanks:)

Nomadic boys

Thursday 19th of July 2018

Our pleasure :)

Thursday 19th of July 2018


Saturday 29th of July 2017


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