Ktaifi Karides – Turkish Prawns with Red Bell Pepper Dip

Ktaifi Karides (garides kataifi in Greek)  is a Turkish prawn recipe where plump prawns are wrapped in ktaifi pastry and baked. It is often served with Muhammara, a roasted bell pepper and walnut dip. This is a beautiful appetiser that is going to leave your guests wanting more. Serve it on a platter or on individual spoons. Ktaifi Karides is a real crowd pleaser! 

ktaifi karides prawns ktaifi phyllo

I had the opportunity to write a guest post for Mireille @ The Schizo Chef. She shares recipes from around the world as well. Please check out the Haitian Potato and Beet Salad recipe she shared with us. Ktaifi Karides is an elegant appetiser that will impress your guests at your next dinner party. Serve them as a platter or on individual spoons as an hors d’oeuvre. The Ktaifi Karides recipe first appeared on The Schizo Chef.

So I made a batch of Kunafa last week. Kunafa is a Middle Eastern dessert that has layers of custard or cream, mozzarella cheese and ktaifi (shredded phyllo pastry). I overestimated the amount of ktaifi I would need and ended up with one whole bag of leftover pastry. So what did I end up making with this delicate and voluminous pastry? Ktaifi Karides! Loosely translated from Turkish to Ktaifi wrapped prawns (shrimp). The Greek version of this is called Ktaifi Garides. Don’t you love how food travels across cultures, and language too? I have eaten this at both Turkish and Greek restaurants and they taste so similar! So I needed to recreate this at home instead of letting the pastry go to waste.

The Turkish version is usually served over a bed of muhammara that is made by roasting red bell pepper and blending it with walnuts, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, oil and some spices. It is a delicious dip to have with some pita bread, but it really adds texture and flavour to the Ktaifi Karides. Do make this dip to go along with it, and keep the rest to later savour as a dip, it keeps well in a jar for around 2 weeks.

I’ve divided the recipe into the Ktaifi Karides and the Muhammara dip. They’re both very simple to make, so let’s get to it!

Ktaifi Karides

I used banana prawns that are widely available here in Australia. Any medium or large sized prawns will do, it’s up to you how big you want them to be. Peel, leaving the tails intact and devein. I like to lightly season them with a pinch of salt, sumac and paprika. But you could just add some salt and pepper and it will still taste great.

You may choose to tear the pastry by hand or use scissors. The width should be less than the length of the prawns as you want the tails to stick out.

Add melted butter and combine well with pastry.

Lay the pastry flat with the short side facing you. Place one prawn on the pastry, then roll.

Bake. And you’re done! How easy was that? Just don’t tell your guests when you get rave reviews.

Muhammara dip

To get more rave reviews, serve the prawns over this dip.

You could either use a jar of roasted red peppers or roast peppers yourself.

Slice two red peppers in half and remove seeds. Place them face down on a tray, drizzle them with olive oil and bake for 35-40 minutes. The skin should be charred. Cool and remove skin. Keep some of the skin for texture and smoky flavour.

Blend this with walnuts, breadcrumbs, pomegranate and some spices – I like to keep it slightly chunky for texture.

Scoop a tablespoon of the dip and place a prawn over it for individual servings. Or scoop dip on a plate and place prawns over the dip to serve to a crowd.

Ktaifi Karides
Prep Time
1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins

Ktaifi Karides (Garides Kataifi) is a Turkish appetiser where prawns are wrapped in phyllo and served over a roasted bell pepper dip. Serve on a platter or as individual servings, it's sure to wow guests! 

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Turkish
Servings: 6
Calories: 272 kcal
Author: Tamara at Foodieverse
Ktaifi Karides
  • 12 banana prawns (or any medium sized prawns), shelled with tail intact, deveined
  • 150g ktaifi pastry (shredded phyllo pastry), defrosted or fresh
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 red bell peppers (capsicum) roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced (or 220-250g jar of roasted red peppers)
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp aleppo chilli flakes (or 1/2 tsp chilli flakes)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of sumac (optional)
Ktaifi Karides
  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F).

  2. Marinade prawns with salt, pepper, paprika and olive oil.

  3. Tear apart strips of pastry 1-4cm in width and 12inches long.

  4. With the shorter side facing you, brush the pastry with the melted butter/olive oil mixture. It’s sufficient to brush only sections of it.

  5. Place one prawn with the tail facing outwards on the shorter side of pastry facing you.

  6. Start rolling until all of the prawn is covered, except for the tail.

  7. Brush some more butter/olive on the exterior of the pastry. Repeat with all prawns

  8. Place prawns in a baking dish/tray.

  9. Bake at 190C for 15 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

  10. Serve on top of muhammara on a plate or on individual spoons as a party appetiser.

  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend for 30-35 seconds. Blend 10 seconds longer if you want the dip to be smooth.

Recipe Notes
  1. You may use all olive oil for brushing ktaifi phyllo pastry or a mix of both olive oil and butter.
  2. Freshly roasted red peppers taste better but if you're in a rush or have a jar of roasted peppers on hand, feel free to use them. 
  3. Aleppo chilli flakes aren't very hot, if substituting regular chilli flakes, start off with 1/8 tsp up to 1/2 tsp flakes depending on your preference. 
  4. Blend Muhammara longer if you want the dip smooth.
Nutrition Facts
Ktaifi Karides
Amount Per Serving (2 prawns)
Calories 272 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 635mg 26%
Potassium 162mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 27.8%
Vitamin C 63.4%
Calcium 4%
Iron 11.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Watch how to make Ktaifi Karides


Ceviche is another great appetiser that your guests will love

Peru Ceviche

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