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Kanava/Stuffed Squid- With Spicy Prawns Filling

Stuffed Squid

Squid is a unique and yummy seafood delicacy that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Squid rings or fried calamari's is the most popular and is a great appetizer. Squid is a staple in many seafood restaurants. It is also a popular street food in several south Asian countries. Squid is enjoyed in the coastal belt of south India especially in Kerala and Tamilnadu. In Kerala squid is known as koonthal or Kanava.

 Squid is one of my favorite sea foods-roast squids, deep-fried, stir-fried, or squid curry-I love them all. Squid has a mild flavor and gentle sweetness and marries well to any flavor and taste of your choice. Squid can be stuffed before roasting or frying, its tubular body called mantle is great for stuffing. You can get creative with the stuffing- use prawns, fish, pork, cheese, bread crumbs, olives, rice, or anything of your choice.

 Today's recipe is a stuffed squid with spicy prawn filling. The dish is inspired by a similar preparation from the book Classic Home Cooking by Mary Berry and Marlena Spieler. I tried a spicy Indian masala filling with squid tentacles, shrimp, and bell pepper. Stuffed squid is delicious and beyond what I expected. The spicy prawns stuffing adds a certain layer of flavor. The squid must be cooked fast over high heat, not more than three minutes on each side. In this way, you can avoid it turning chewy and rubbery. Try this recipe, you will surely love it.

Squid cleaned- 2 medium
(or 6 small sized squid)
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste

For the filling
Prawns - 3/4 cup cleaned
Squid tentacles finely chopped
Onion- 1 small
Bell pepper- 1/2 cup chopped
Tomato chopped- 1 small
Garlic- 3-4
Ginger- 1 small peice
Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Bread crumbs- 1 tbs (optional)
Chopped coriander leaves
Lemon juice- 1/2 lemon
Curry leaves a few
Oil for frying
Salt to taste

To make the filling
Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onion and saute till translucent. Add crushed garlic and ginger and stir fry till onion is golden brown. Add salt, chopped bell pepper, and tomatoes. Saute for a minute and add the chopped squid tentacles and prawns. Cover and cook for two minutes and then add chilly powder, pepper powder,garam masala, and stir fry till all the moisture evaporates. Switch off the flame and mix in bread crumbs and chopped coriander. Allow this to cool down completely.

 Fill the squid with this stuffing and seal the tops. You can use a toothpick, tread it carefully through the top of each stuffed squid to seal the opening. Season the stuffed squid with turmeric powder, chilly powder, and salt. Make small gashes on the top. Heat oil in a pan and fry the squid. Add a few curry leaves too if you like the flavor. Cover and cook for three minutes on each side. When one side is evenly brown flip and fry the other side. If you are baking arrange in an oven-proof dish and bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes or until it is firm to touch. Squeeze lemon juice just before serving.

Note: If you are using a frozen squid, just thaw and pat dry. It will have a tube like body and separate tentacles.
 To prepare fresh squid, pull out the head and tentacles. The innards will come away with the head. Cut off the tentacles, just in front of the eyes. Squeeze the tentacles, near the cut end, to remove the hard beak and then discard it. Also, discard the head, and the quill out of the body. Wash the tentacles and then chop finely. The skin on the body can also be easily removed. Rinse, pat dry, and stuff with the filling.

You might also like,

Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid
Spicy Stuffed Eggplant-Mediterranean Recipe
Easy Fish Pulao/ Indian Fish Pilaf- Pomfret Fish and Rice
Kanava/ Squid Thoran
Crispy Calamari/Squid Rings
Goan Fish Curry

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!


  1. This is one of my favorites, Super yummy..

  2. We do filling of raw rice and steam it till done... I am just looking at this and wondering about that dish... very interesting recipe...

  3. Ithu kollammallo stuffed squid looks really yum.


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