Spiced, smoky and fragrant Ethiopian Prawns

Our wonderful customers tell us that fragrant, smoky Mitmita is the perfect spice mix to accompany prawns and other shellfish. This delicious gentle-spiced recipe with garlicky undertones is very simple, taking a bit of inspiration from a Spanish style tapas recipe and an Egyptian shrimp recipe.
5'+5' preparation & cooking time
2 serve


4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

8 peeled garlic cloves - smashed in a mortar with pestle

1 thumbnail size of grated ginger

1-2 tsp of Mitmita by Camelēr Spice Cº

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp sea salt

1tbsp tomato paste

400g of King prawns (deveined) 

½ lemon (juice only)

2 tbsp of fresh coriander (roughly chopped) 



Prawns as well as all shellfish are almost never found in Ethiopian cuisine because of the religious beliefs amongst the rich tapestry of faiths, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, to name but a few. You can read more here. However so many of our wonderful customers tell us that fragrant Mitmita is the perfect spice mix to accompany prawns and other shellfish. This delicious, spiced recipe with garlicky undertones is very simple and it takes a bit of inspiration from a Spanish tapas style recipe and an Egyptian shrimp recipe. Mitmita is the perfect heat for such a fish recipe of small delicious bites. Depending on your flavour profile, sometimes less can be more, so reduce the amount of Mitmita should you wish. In countries where English is the mother tongue we often use prawns and shrimp interchangeably. You could try this recipe with shell on or off. From the Horn of Africa to the Mediterranean, we are sure you will enjoy.  


  1. In a small pan add the oil and heat on a medium heat careful to not let it smoke.
  2. Add the whole smashed garlic cloves, grated ginger and Mitmita. We like to put the garlic, ginger and the Mitmita spice in the mortar and give it a few wallops with the pestle. Don't go overboard, we do not want a paste, you just want to bruise. *Tip we always freeze our ginger and just grate it frozen. Its more sustainable and the fibrous ginger is easier to handle. Fry for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant and golden.  
  3. Add the tomato paste, sugar, sea salt and prawns. Make sure that the prawns are clean (see bullet points below). Cook until the prawns are pink, not a minute longer. 
  4. Add the juice and the chopped coriander, and serve with fresh crusty bread.  

If you need or decide to remove the shell do the following and perhaps save for a stock. 

  • Grip the prawn body in one hand and twist off the head with the other.
  • To remove the innards and devein, turn the prawn over, pull the shell along the length of the belly from head to tail. Removing all segments as you go. Sometimes you need a knife to do this. There is a knack but its simply down to practice. 
  • Ensure all excess shell is removed.



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