Prawn Cake

Serves 4


For the filling:

  • 250g/9oz cooked peeled prawns
  • 2-3 tablespoons sunflower or light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1cm/1/2in piece of root ginger, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt, beaten

For the pancakes:

  • 6 medium eggs 1green chilli, very finely chopped or minced (de-seeded if liked)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves, very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
  • Sunflower or light olive oil for cooking

Prawn Cake or ‘Apa de Camrao’ is a Portugues legacy, which is still enjoyed in Goa. A spicy prawn filling is sandwiched between thin layers of egg pancakes to achieve similar height to a cake. In Goa, they cover the entire cake with mayonnaise, to make it look like an iced cake.

Using a large knife or the food processor with the pulse action, chop the prawns finely.

Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the crushed fennel seeds. Let them sizzle for 15-20 seconds and add the onion. Fry until the onion until it is soft (about 5 minutes) and add the ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add the ground coriander and chilli powder. Cook for about a minute and add the prawns, salt and tomato puree. Stir and mix well, remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt. Do not cook the prawns over heat as they will start releasing the juices; you want a nice thick, moist mixture which has no extra liquid.

To make the pancakes, beat the eggs and add the chillies and coriander leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

In a 15cm/6in frying pan, preferably non-stick, heat 1-2 teaspoons oil over a medium-low heat.

Add two tablespoons beaten egg, making sure you take in some of the chilli and coriander leaves, and spread it quickly over the surface of the pan. Allow to set and brown then turn over and brown the other side. Make the remaining pancakes the same way. Pile them on top of one another placing a piece of kitchen towel between each one.

Put a pancake on a serving dish, spread with a little filling and top with another pancake. Continue layering this way until you have used up all the pancakes, finishing with a pancake on top. Cut into wedges and serve with any bread and a salad if liked.