Lentil & Prawn Wadas

Wadas are fried lentil or vegetable dumplings. They originate from western and southern India and are usually served as a snack or cocktail nibble. This recipe includes prawns, which create an especially delicious flavour. The soft juiciness of the prawns contrasts well with the earthy lentil flavour and crunchy texture. These wadas go well with coconut chutney.


  • 8 raw tiger or medium prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 115g split red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • vegetable or canola oil, for deep-frying
  • lime wedges, to serve

Pair with 2019 Bone Dry Rose.


  1. Toss the prawns with the turmeric and salt in a small bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  2. Put the lentils in a medium bowl, cover with water and soak for 2 hours. Drain, then transfer to a food processor and process coarsely.
  3. Transfer the lentil mixture to a clean bowl, add the onion, green chilli and chilli powder and mix together. With wet hands, shape the mixture into eight small, flat patties, about 2.5–3.5 cm in diameter (depending on the size of the prawns). Place a prawn on top of each patty and press down firmly.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer to a medium heat of 180°C. Deep-fry the patties in two batches for about 7 minutes, or until crisp and cooked. Drain on kitchen towels and serve hot with a fresh squeeze of lime.

Recipe from Ragini Dey, via cooked.com.au.