Recipe: Robustly Spicy Maharashtrian Kolambi (Prawns) Thecha
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Spicy, garlicky, fishy — the three perfect adjectives to describe the prawn thecha. Thecha, a popular Maharashtrian condiment made with roasted green chillies, garlic and peanuts, is usually eaten as an accompaniment to homemade meals of zunka-bhakri or varan-bhaat-tup. While there are many iterations to the thecha popularly available in the market today, that range from the original to dry fish and even bacon, nothing quite beats the fresh saltiness of a prawn thecha.

While it is slightly different from most non-vegetarian condiments that largely involve pickling or vinegar in some form, this thecha recipe can be put together in a matter of moments. You could obviously eat this with a warm bowl of dal-chawal but the spicy hit of this thecha followed by a sip of cold beer is a joy everyone must experience at least once in a lifetime! Unlike most seafood condiments that use dried fish or shrimp, this prawn thecha is phenomenal when made with fresh, deveined prawns. Mind you, this one is not for the faint-hearted. Find the recipe for a portion that serves two, below.



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  • 250 grams fresh, cleaned prawns
  • 10-15 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches ginger
  • 6-7 green chillies (use more if you like it spicier)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons butter or peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon roasted and crushed peanuts
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander



  • In a small blender jar, grind together the garlic, ginger and chillies into a coarse paste. Ensure that there are some bits and pieces left in the paste for some texture.
  • Heat butter or peanut oil in a pan and add the ground mixture into it and sauté until the aromas are released. Continue to cook this further until the moisture starts to evaporate and add in the chopped coriander. Cook for a minute and add the turmeric powder and roasted peanuts and season with salt.
  • Once everything comes together, throw in the prawns and coat thoroughly with the aromatic mixture in the pan. Reduce the flame to the lowest setting and cover and cook the prawns for not more than a couple of minutes.
  • Remove the lid and turn the heat to a high in case there is any moisture left behind from the seafood, to evaporate. If the mixture feels too dry at this stage, add another half tablespoon of oil or butter. Check for seasoning and adjust, if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with lemon juice and garnish with more roasted peanuts. Serve hot.