Rubyan Meshwi (Emirati Grilled Prawns)

  • Serves

    serves 2-4


At Abu Dhabi's Al Arish restaurant, jumbo prawns are basted in a spicy-sweet ketchup-based sauce before they are grilled. This recipe first appeared in our May 2014 issue with the story Afternoon Delights.


  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground oregano
  • 1 tsp. whole white peppercorns
  • 3 chiles de árbol, stemmed
  • 34 cup tomato paste
  • 13 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp. malt vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. tamarind concentrate
  • 1 12 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 12 lb. unpeeled jumbo prawns or shrimp, preferably head-on
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Step 1

Grind sugar, mustard, oregano, peppercorns, and chiles in a spice grinder into a powder; transfer to a bowl. Stir in paste, ketchup, vinegar, oil, tamarind, and soy sauce; reserve 1⁄3 cup sauce. Add prawns to bowl and toss; let sit 20 minutes.

Step 2

Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high. (Alternatively, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.) Grill prawns, flipping once and basting frequently with reserved sauce, until slightly charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

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