Snacking Prawns with Tamarind Glaze

Mallika Basu - Snacking Prawns with Tamarind Glaze

Posted 20th November 2007



All this last minute party planning is so exhausting. I survived Diwali. I’m not taking any chances with Christmas.

Along with sorting my festive glam outfit (red tights are so in) I’ve been in deep thought about Christmas nibbles.

Festive snacks, it seems, are the mainstay of keen chefs and gluttons for punishment only. I am neither. You so won’t catch me wrapping 50 tiger prawns with 50 slices of prosciutto or fashioning 50 little kebabs to shallow fry in batches.

Just thinking about it is exhausting…

I will be sitting in front of the roaring fire instead. Hurling abuse at my siblings. Glass of winter Pimms in one hand. Whopping everyone at Pictionary with the other.

As if by luck, Santa came early this year. And he brought just the thing I needed for inspiration, a wonderful cookbook titled Modern Indian Cooking.

Written by Vikas Khanna and Hari Nayak, two US-based Indian chefs, this cookbook does exactly what it says on the tin. There’s no “let’s put Indian ingredients together and pretend it’s what we grew up on” malarky. This is an unashamed tribute to the recipes your mother didn’t cook at home. Like almond crusted roast leg of lamb and peppers stuffed with coriander coconut cream.

I made the superb prawns with tamarind glaze, which will definitely feature at Christmas. Two hours of marinating, three minutes of shallow frying give you one large plateful of lick-your-plate-clean prawns.

My kind of Christmas snacking. Ho Ho Ho…

This recipe feeds 6:

500 gm large prawns, shelled and cleaned (I defrosted a bag of frozen ones)

1 tsp ginger, minced

4 tsp garlic, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp tamarind paste

1 tsp chilli powder

Half tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp plain white flour

Salt to taste

4 tbsp vegetable oil

One lemon

Wash and dry the prawns. Mix with all the ingredients (bar the lemon juice) and two tablespoons of oil. Leave to marinate for about two hours.

When ready to eat, shallow fry the prawns in the remaining oil on ether side for two to three minutes turning once during cooking. Pile up high on a large white platter and squeeze the lemon juice all over.

PS = This is my entry for Zlamushka’s Spoonful of Christmas event on the grounds that the marinade (and cookbook) will make an excellent present.

PPS = Does this mean I have made it to my first blog event this year? Does it? Better late than never…

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