Tamarind (Assam) Tomato Tiger Prawns

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Tamarind tomato tiger prawns

Tamarind tomato tiger prawns

Prawns, or shrimps, are my top favourite, especially tiger prawns. My family loves prawns, much to my delight, because it’s fun when we eat together. I always cook tiger prawns with the shells still intake because that is where the fun is….peeling the shells and sucking the head. I used to peel the prawns for my children when they were small but they have picked up the skill and enjoy peeling themselves. This type of dish is only to be enjoyed at home as eating this in restaurants, or parties, is just too messy.

Tamarind Tomato Tiger Prawns is another of my favourite dish. In Malaysia, we use a a lot of tamarind, also called assam, for cooking. It gives a very nice sour taste and makes the dish very appetising. Tomatoes add to the sourness and also colour.

This dish comes with a little more preparation but it’s worth it all. The recipe is actually quite simple and easy.

Ingredients A
1 kg tiger prawns (cleaned and the feelers and head trimmed)
2 big onions (peeled and sliced into rings)
150 tamarind paste (assam)
300g water
2 tomatoes (cut into wedges)

Tamarind paste (assam)

Tamarind paste (assam)

Add the tamarind paste to the water. Mix it well and sieve it. Keep the tamarind liquid and throw away the bits.

Ingredients B (to blend or pound)

1 purple onion
3 shallots
1/2 whole garlic
1 red chili (or more)
2T chili sauce
2 tomatoes

Ingredients C (seasoning)
5T sugar
1t salt
1/2t chicken stock granules

fry the pounded ingredients and onions

fry the pounded ingredients and onions

Blend or pound Ingredients B to a smooth paste. Heat up some oil in a frying pan and fry the blended ingredients until fragrant. Then add the sliced big onions from Ingredients A. Continue to fry for some time until the big onions become slightly translucent.

Add prawns to fried ingredients

Add prawns to fried ingredients

Add the tiger prawns and continue to fry over high heat until the prawns turn pink and curled up. Add the seasoning in Ingredients C and mix well. The tomato wedges. Adjust according to taste. Dish up and enjoy. It is very delicious with rice or noodles. Do not overcook the prawns otherwise the meat will become tough.

What is your favourite prawn dish? Do you like big prawns or small ones? Please share, add and comment in the comment box below.

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Other prawns (shrimps) recipes that you may be interested in:
Dry Seafood Curry
Tiger Prawns In Butter Sauce
Pumpkin, Prawns And Coconut Soup (Thai)
King Prawns And Vegetables Stir Fry
Shrimps And Bok Choy Stir Fry
Creamy King Prawns And Marrow Stir Fry
Spicy Seafood Kimchi Soup
Fried Rice Noodles With King Prawns And Chicken
King Prawns And Salmon Curry

Quote of the day……

”Obstacles are the things we see when we take our eyes off our goals.

Zig Ziglar

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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3hungrytummies  on March 4th, 2010

Finger licking good, I love unshelled prawns like this!

Larry  on March 4th, 2010

ahh it’s just so bad that I’m allergy to prawn!! :/

Sushma Mallya  on March 4th, 2010

i love prawns and this looks so delicious….and i got the idea of using pumpkin seeds from you only mary,and that crispies is still on my mind,will def try it…its in the top of my list actually…thanks for sharing such a nice dish..

Angie@Angie's Recipes  on March 4th, 2010

Shelled or unshelled……I just love them! Yummy!

p.s. I didn’t know you are an Indian…thought you were a Chinese.

penny aka jeroxie  on March 4th, 2010

Yeap. that is how I like my prawns cooked. with the shells on and it is fun getting the hands dirty

radha  on March 4th, 2010

mut try next weekcause i have all the ingredients ready ~ and then make a wonderful noodle soup with the shells in the next days right>?

Divina  on March 4th, 2010

Prawns are always a favorite. My favorite is lemon coriander prawns which are grilled served with a sauce good enough to drink. I’m making it tonight. And always love prawns with the shells too.

Mary  on March 4th, 2010

@3hungrytummies - We should have a prawn party :D Would be fun to see everyone removing the shells and enjoying the prawns :D

@Larry - Oh no….so sorry to hear that :( But, Larry, if you ever go to any parties where prawns are serves, PLEASE bring me along. I will help to eat your share :P

@Sushma Mallya - Thanks very much, Sushma! Oh, looks like we are having a recipe exchange :D I’m still thinking of your fudgy brownies with pumpkin seeds. If I have time today I would like to make.

@Angie@Angie’s Recipes - Oh no no, I’m not Indian…haha. My email address had led many people to think so LOL. I love Indian food though. I’m a pure Chinese with a big appetite for all types of food :D

@penny aka jeroxie - I think sometimes I get my face dirty too…haha :D

@radha - The shells definitely make great soup, especially the heads but then we always such them so….. :P I always buy small prawns to make prawn soup.

@Divina - Lemon and coriander are both my favourite ingredients. I must try that. Our spicy sambal sauce would be great as a dip….yum. Hey, I want to join you for dinner…..cook more! :P

anncoo  on March 4th, 2010

WOW…this is mouth watering dish with the assam and chilli…just perfect!
I love prawns that cook with anything. I just cooked drunken prawns. hee…heee..again “drunken”..

Jeena  on March 4th, 2010

I love the color of these prawns Mary really delicious. Looks like you had a fun Chinese New Year too! :)

Priya  on March 4th, 2010

Such a droolworthy dish…tempting!!

Drick  on March 4th, 2010

wonderful dish, beautiful color and I know very, very tasty - we pretty much leave the heads and shells on too espcially for shrimp boils … just adds so much to the flavor

The Kitchen Masochist  on March 4th, 2010

I love this. I’ve tried this dish when I went to KL. I’ve taken a liking to sour Southeast Asian dishes. I’ll take sour any day over sweet when it comes to savory foods. And I love prawns too.

I’ve never used tamarind paste though. I always use the fresh ones. Is the paste as sour as the fresh unripe green ones?

Roti n Rice  on March 4th, 2010

This is mouthwatering. I am having breakfast right now and you are making me think of dinner. This blogging thing is making me put on weight just trying out recipes…..

Mary  on March 4th, 2010

@anncoo - Did you let the live prawns swim in wine, get drunk before cooking them? I wonder how they swim then. Must be zig-zagging all over :P

@Jeena - Thanks very much, Jeena! Yes, I had a great time during the 15 days Chinese New Year :D

@Priya - Haha….thanks very much, Priya! :D

@Drick - Thanks very much, Drick! See, I’m catching up on your prawn dishes :P

@The Kitchen Masochist - I’m impressed that you have taken to Southeast Asian flavour very quickly :D I’ve known of some who find the taste and flavour too strong. Byt that’s what we really want when we are overseas. Going to restaurants is always disappointing. You don’t get what you want, yet paying a high price :( I have never used the fresh tamarind in my cooking. The packet ones are equally good and very convenient.

@Roti n Rice - Haha…..you can plan for your dinner now! Totally agree with you about blogging making us put on weight :D I think blogging should also motivate us to exercise more for health to lose weight too :D

cheah  on March 4th, 2010

Gosh, this will go so well with nasi lemak, slurp!

rebecca  on March 4th, 2010

looks yummy, I have tamarind great recipe

anncoo  on March 4th, 2010

hahaa…something like that.

Jeannie  on March 4th, 2010

Another dish on my favourite shrimps! Pity my boys don’t like shrimps:( I ended up substituting the shrimps instead sigh!

Olive ♥  on March 4th, 2010

this is seriously making me crave for prawns..haven’t had this in a long time..we love to eat this with our hands..with rice of course! yum!! :)

aruna  on March 4th, 2010

Wow i’m just drooling….looks so tempting~!

Mary  on March 4th, 2010

This looks wonderful. I have a Westernized version of this dish that is really good. I can only imagine how delicious it must be with really fresh shrimp.

Stacy  on March 4th, 2010

Look at those big gorgeous prawns! Shell on is the way to go!

Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes  on March 4th, 2010

Oh the prawns look fabulous, Mary! So healthy too!

Mary  on March 4th, 2010

@cheah - Oh….that’s a great idea! Never thought of that. I only think of sambal, groundnuts, cucumber and omelet when I make nasi lemak. Next time when I cook this dish, I must make nasi lemak. I’m sure I’ll get lots of hugs :D

@rebecca - Have fun cooking and eating! :D

@anncoo - Aha….now you are a real inspiration, Anncoo! I have to try drunken fish :P I think my friends, those who keep fish, will bar me from entering their house now if they keep fish….LOL

@Jeannie - Hey you should be happy! You can have the whole plate for yourself :P My whole family likes prawns so we can only have 4-5 each cos 1 box only has 16-20 tiger prawns.

@Olive ♥ - What fun to eat, isn’t it? Just so finger-licking good…mmmm :D

@aruna - Time to get out your frying pan and get some big prawns :D

@Mary - I can imagine your dish must be very delicious too. I think if the prawns are fresh, anyway you cook them will be delicious….even plain boiled and eat with a dip….mmmm. In fact, any prawn dish will make me happy :D

@Stacy - Yes, shell on looks like it’s the preferred way to enjoy eating….finger-licking good…yum :D

@Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes - Thanks very much, Sook! :D

TasteHongKong  on March 4th, 2010

I can imagine how nice this dish is because it reminds me of the assam noodles I enjoyed in Penang few days ago.

kristy  on March 5th, 2010

All the prawns over the CNY! I really need some rest! haha… But I would love to have the sauce for my rice. Hmm…mm…. Truely mouthwatering.
Have a nice weekend!
p/s keep the prawns for me huh!

Sarah, Maison Cupcake  on March 5th, 2010

This looks very nice, I have some tamarind in my fridge but have not really used it yet.

Mary  on March 5th, 2010

@TasteHongKong - Oh….I love all the Penang food! I was there for 4 years and really enjoyed the food especially the famous Penang char kway teow. I hope to visit it again one day. It brings back some of the sweetest memories :D

@kristy - Give to me if you have too many. I can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner :D I can give you the sauce of course :P It’s too irresistble to keep..LOL

@Sarah, Maison Cupcake - Time to take out your frying pan for this dish :D

Giles, Anyone For Seconds?  on March 5th, 2010

Mmmmm these look fab! I have never cooked with tamarind before but have some paste in the cupboard so could try my first recipe with this :)

joylicious  on March 5th, 2010

Mary mary mary *shakes head* I don’t know why I torture myself constantly with these images every morning before I eat breakfast. These tiger prawns are OUT OF THIS WORLD. My mom would make this dish but she never used Tamarind — I can only imagine the addition is very sweet and savory

… can you adopt me? I am sure my mother won’t mind I already have one god mother…i sure could use another one :)

xiaoyen  on March 5th, 2010

Thanks for the recipe Mary. I just made this last week for dinner using pre-made sauce. Now I can make it fresh.

P/S: I love anything curry. I can’t eat too spicy food but my entire family can eat super spicy, it’s insane!

deeba  on March 5th, 2010

How very interesting Mary …. this looks finger licking good. Do you know we use a lot of tamarind in our food too down in the South! This dish is wonderful; so full of flavour!

Tasty Trix  on March 5th, 2010

Oh my gosh, do I LOVE this. You are 100% right about the fun of peeling and devouring. I’ve eaten this kind of thing in at a restaurant, but they gave us bibs (like little kids!) to wear because of the mess. Boy, were we glad they did!

tigerfish  on March 6th, 2010

Give me another bowl of steamed rice, please :p

Mary  on March 6th, 2010

@Giles, Anyone For Seconds? - This can be your weekend project. Have fun cooking! :D

@joylicious - Wrong time again!LOL See, I always have a full tummy before I visit your blog otherwise I would drop into depression….haha I just drool over all your fabulous food and funny pictures that I just enjoy laughing :D Wow…..adopt you? That’s so flattering! That’s such a delight :D But you are too far to taste my food! :(

@xiaoyen - Wow….your family eat so spicy! I bet you have to cook at least a spicy dish every meal. I cook spicy but I don’t let my family eat too spicy, except on special occasions. If I eat too spicy, I need tissue paper…haha :D

@deeba - Tamarind is really lovely in food, makes it very appetising. I don’t know many dishes. Hope to learn more. Your food must be very appetising. I wish you will show some on your blog! But I just love all your bakes….just sooooo gorgeous and mouth-watering.

@Tasty Trix - That’s really thoughtful of the restaurant staff to serve you bibs. I bet you look so cute in it….haha :D Restaurants that I went have never done that :( Why have they not learnt….hmmm

@tigerfish - Haha….cook a big pot! :D

zurin  on March 6th, 2010

a beautiful dish! tamarind and prawns are just made for each other! lovely n beautiful dish.:)

Kitchen Butterfly  on March 6th, 2010

Love prawns too….have only tried them once with tamarind and they came out great!

Mary  on March 6th, 2010

@zurin - Fully agree with you that tamarind and prawns are made for each other. It’s just so appetising. I have to cook again ths dish…mmmm….finger-licking good :D

@Kitchen Butterfly - Me, too. It’s my top favourite. Thank goodness I’m not allergic to prawns…haha :D

Thas  on March 6th, 2010

Amazing tiger prawns, my craving for these have just begun :) Like the tangy, spicy flavor added to this dish.

Trissa  on March 7th, 2010

I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook with tamarind Mary - thanks for sharing this recipe!

Simply Life  on March 7th, 2010

oh yum! Can I have these please!? :)

The Kitchen Masochist  on March 7th, 2010

I completely agree with you when it comes to dining at ethnic restaurants and the high prices that you have to pay.

I like Southest Asian food because they’re so flavorful and aromatic.

Just this past week, I was craving beef rendang. so I decided to go to this Malaysian restaurant called ‘Penang Hill’. .

I ordered beef rendang and gula melaka sago pudding for my dessert. I was very disappointed. They tasted nowhere near the ones I tasted in SG and MY. The rendang was VERY salty and was missing a lot of the aromatic herbs and spices.

The sago pudding, I can tell they didn’t use any gula Melaka, but used ordinary brown sugar instead. Palm sugar has a very different kind of sweetness that brown sugar doesn’t have. The funny thing is, palm sugar is made over here too and widely available. And this restaurant wasn’t cheap either.

This is the reason why I am trying to learn how to cook Thai dishes myself. Beef rendang is on my list, but I’m a bit intimidated with the work involved!

tasteofbeirut  on March 7th, 2010

Thanks for this recipe; I have always wanted to cook with tamarind paste and now I know how!

pigpigscorner  on March 7th, 2010

Love the spicy and sour flavours! yum yum!

Mary  on March 7th, 2010

@Thas - Haha….time to take out your wok/frying pan :D

@Trissa - You are most welcome! Tamarind makes food taste really appetising. Give a try. You most likely need more rice :D

@Simply Life - Absolutely ‘YES’ .. but you have to come here :D

@The Kitchen Masochist - You are really doing excellently well learning Asian cooking. I’m really amazed and inpired. I can fully understand your disappointment going for Malaysian food but ended up eating something way below standard or authenticity and yet paying a high price for it. I have experienced that several times. Well, the other day I went with my friends to a restaurant to eat. I ordered the pan fried pumpkin gnocchi (probably just about 10 pieces) and ended up paying about £12 for that!! Worse, it was soooo oily! :( I still prefer to cook myself…clean, high quality ingredients, no preservatives and cheap. By the way, have fun cooking more Asian food. I’m still learning to cook what I miss :P

@tasteofbeirut - You are most welcome! Have fun cooking :D

@pigpigscorner - Me, too! :D

MAry  on March 8th, 2010

Your recipe sounds wonderful. I just started using tamarind paste this past year and I love it. Your instructions are really easy to follow. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

foodforfriendsyeah!  on March 12th, 2010

You are a cooking machine! This looks great and gives me some inpiration for the little jar of Tamarind paste I have on my shelf.

So far I’ve only tried it with a Goan Fish Curry, which was delicious. These prawns look good too!

Do you have any suggestions as to what Tamarind goes well with please?

Mary  on March 12th, 2010

@MAry - Thanks very much, Mary! That’s very encouraging :D

@foodforfriendsyeah! - Cooking machine?….haha. Cooking is fun! :D We usually use tamarind with seafood and meat. We also use it to make spicy sambal. It gives a very beautiful taste to food….very appetising.

THATSSORON  on March 17th, 2010

nothing like asam to tinkle the taste buds…

Mary  on March 17th, 2010

@THATSSORON - Thanks very much for visiting and comment! :D Totally agree with you. Assam just makes the dish so appetising.

luvtoeat  on March 22nd, 2010

oh what a wonderful recipe! i’ll have to try this one on my family. i’m sure my kiddies will love this as much as your kids. thank you for sharing.

Mary  on March 22nd, 2010

@luvtoeat - I hope your children like this dish. Have fun cooking :D

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