Vegan Tandoori Love Prawns


In 2017, I was watching the 7.30 Report when they did a story about a disease that was devastating prawn farms in northern QLD. The story went that some shady characters had been importing prawns out of China that were unregulated and undeclared which had white spot disease, a major biosecurity risk. This got into the local prawn population and on television, they showed live a prawn farmer kill 500 000 prawns with 20 000 litres of chlorine. As the chlorine was poured into the water, the prawns were basically chemically burned alive. The water surface boiled with movement as they rose up in the massive pond trying to escape, writhing in pain and agony as they died.

The farmer and reporter stood by, discussing the damage to the industry and what a tragedy it was. It wasn't a tragedy, it was an horrific mass murder of half a million sentient beings on prime time TV. It was so hard to watch, and my heart hurt with the thought of the pain those little dudes went through. The bottom line is in the pursuit of money and greed, the collateral damage yet again was innocent creatures. Because they were prawns, not puppies or cute baby chickens or cows, no one seemed to care or share my sense of outrage and despair. I'm hoping all 500 000 of them got an awesome rebirth as a human. Anyhoo, lets talk tandoori.

Vegan prawns are a thing. They are cruelty free, made of a yam like vegetable called konjac, and available in Chinese grocers that sell meat free meat and seafood treats. They are completely freaky and I totes love them and use in multiple different places I would use prawns: curries, hotpot, battered and fried, sambal and of course, tandoori. This makes a cracking entree for 4 peeps or a main dish as part of a vegan Indian banquet. Make it and say a little prayer for those poor dudes that got chemically terminated. Rest in peace crustacean buddies.


Charcoal BBQ

Metal skewers


20 vegan prawns

2 tablespoons tandoori paste

4 tablespoons coconut yoghurt

juice of one lime

1 clove garlic minced

1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon ajwan seeds (optional, available from Indian grocers)

iceberg lettuce cups to serve

lemon wedges

Tomato and Cucumber Katchcumber

2 ripe tomatoes diced

1 small lebanese cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 french shallot, finely diced

lime juice

shredded coriander leaves

Mint Raita

1 bunch mint

1/2 tsp coriander

pinch sugar

pinch salt

lime juice

1.2 cup coconut yoghurt


1. Mix together the tandoori paste, coconut yoghurt, lime, ajwan seeds, garlic and ginger. Marinate the prawns overnight. Thread onto metal skewers that will fit on your BBQ.

2. For the katchcumber, mix together the ingredients and place in a serving bowl.

3. For the raita, blend all ingredients together for a glorious green sauce, place in a serving bowl.

4. In a hot charcoal BBQ, cook prawns on the skewer for about 5 mins, turn over, then another 5. You want a little char on the edges and a decent smokey flavor. If you don't have a charcoal BBQ, then a normal oven on 200 degrees C/400 Degrees F will do the trick. 

5. Remove prawns from skewers. Serve on a platter, with lettuce cups for guests to put their prawns in topped with a little katchmber and raita.

6. Roll up and crunch on through knowing nothing but compassion lives in your heart and tummy.

Polly McGee