Book Review of Nikkei Cuisine – Japanese Food the South American Way by Luiz Hara


Luiz Hara has been on my culinary radar for a couple of years now. Word has it that he runs THE most exquisite supper clubs from his town house in Islington focusing primarily on Japanese, Nikkei and French cuisine. I’ve been procrastinating for far too long so I will definitely get my skates on in 2016 and give Luiz’s supper clubs a go. He is also the man behind the successful food blog, ‘The London Foodie’, which focuses on food, wine and travel. Most recently however he has published his very first cookbook called ‘Nikkei Cuisine – Japanese Food the South American Way’. It sounds intriguing right?

Nikkei Cuisine £25

‘Above Image from Nikkei Cuisine: Japanese Food the South American Way by Luiz Hara. Photography by Lisa Linder. Published by Jacqui Small (£25).’

Nikkei cuisine is the cooking of the Japanese diaspora. Japanese immigrants often found themselves in countries that had very different cooking techniques and ingredients to what they were used to. They had to adapt to their new surroundings but at the same time wanted to continue using Japanese techniques and traditions. The resulting cuisine is called Nikkei. To say ‘fusion’ would be wrong and Luiz goes to great lengths in his introduction to explain Nikkei cuisine and how it is a very distinct cuisine in its own right. He explains “Nikkei cuisine is a byproduct of migration and adaption, created over 100 years ago in South America. It was a cuisine created out of necessity”.


Outside Japan the highest contentration of Japanese live in South America, namely Brazil and Peru. It was in Brazil that Luiz’s family finally settled and became part of the Nikkei community. The cuisine has been part of his family history and is certainly no food fad. Luiz himself moved to London for university after which he worked in Finance in the city.  Much like myself he created his blog ‘The London Foodie’ as a creative outpost for this food thoughts and exploration. It was love of food and cuisine that they led him to quit his day job and embark on a new chapter in food. He trained at Le Cordon Bleu, where he graduated with the Grande Diplome in 2012. It was following his training and some time spent in Japan learning from the masters, that he then opened up his own home to friends and strangers by hosting his supper club. As well as continuing to this day with his supper club, he teaches cooking and writes in many national and overseas publications on the topic of food and travel.


Which brings us to the book itself. To say that it is a feast for the eyes as well as the belly is a massive understatement. It’s colourful, bold and exciting.  It’s the type of book that is perfect for confident homecooks or for those who like to be pushed in their abilities. I recall some people grumbling over the ingredients lists of the hallowed books from the Ottolenghi empire, but for me this was a revelation and not something that phased me in the slightest. Luiz’s book must be treated with the same respect. Yes, it requires a bit of thought and forward planning, but with the help of some wonderful Oriental supermarkets in the UK and online, it is not too difficult to create the dishes. Luiz even lists a ‘directory of suppliers’ in the back of the book to help you if you are unsure where to buy certain ingredients. He also lists all the ingredients you may be unfamiliar with and gives an overview about each one.

‘Above Images from Nikkei Cuisine: Japanese Food the South American Way by Luiz Hara. Photography by Lisa Linder. Published by Jacqui Small (£25).’

The sound of the dishes coupled with the stunning photographs in the book (see above photos) really inspire you to try cooking these yourself. How about duck breast robata with pickled pearl onions and sancho pepper vinaigrette or salmon and passion fruit tiradito with crispy butternut squash and espelette pepper or Nikkei hotpot of pork belly, cod and seafood? Mouthwatering hey. Word of warning, never read this book if you are feeling hungry as it will make matters a whole lot worse believe me.

I decided to trial one of his recipes. Deciding which to go for was a hard job as they all looked so good. In the end I chose the ‘Aubergine, Pork and Rice Noodle Salad’ as most of the ingredients I had in my kitchen – I’m also partial to little pork mince from time to time. I kept pretty to close to his recipe with the few alterations being:

  1. The amount of pork I used. He said 300g and I used the whole pack of 500g. Unless you go to the butcher, most packets of pork mince in the UK are 500g, hence I decided to use the lot.
  2. I also used vegetable bouillon instead of Asian chicken stock. I went to Korea Foods and when I asked for Asian chicken stock the guy showed me what looked like a regular chicken stock but with Chinese writing all over it. This was probably the Asian chicken stock that Luiz was referring to but the packet was so large I decided that I would replicate it with my regular vegetable stock.
  3. I would recommend you suggest cooking the aubergine for  nearer 7 minutes as opposed to 5-6 as you want to make sure that the aubergine is properly soft inside.
  4. For speed I opted for ginger paste instead of fresh ginger!
  5. I used reduced salt soy sauce.

The recipe was really very straightforward and I would most definitely cook it again. Flavoursome, with great balances of salty and sweet with only a hint of chilli.


Aubergine, Pork & Rice Noodle Salad

Serves 4

for the pork soboro:

2 tbsp sesame oil

500g pork mince

50ml sake

50ml mirin

100ml reduced salt soy sauce

2tsp ginger paste

2 tsp caster sugar


for the dressing:

1/2 tsp of vegetable stock powder (Asian chicken stock if you have it)

4 tbsp boiling water

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp finely chopped red chilli

2 tsp ginger paste


100g dried rice vermicelli noodles

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

sunflower oil for deep frying

2 aubergines

2 tsp toasted white sesame seeds

a sprinkle of shichimi pepper

  1. First start by making the pork soboro. Place the sesame oil in a pan and when it is hot add the pork mince and allow to brown in colour (this will take around 5 minutes) before adding all the rest of the ingredients in the list for the pork soboro. Cook on a medium heat for around 20 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool on one side.
  2. Cook the dried rice vermicelli noodles according to the packet and when cooked through, drain allowing cold water to run through the noodles. Add the fresh coriander to the noodles and place to one side.
  3. Next you need to make the dressing by adding all the ingredients together in a mixing jug. Place to one side.
  4. Using a pan  bigger enough to hold both aubergines gently heat up some sunflower oil. You want to fill the pan up to half way with the sunflower oil. Clean the aubergines and make a few delicate incisions into each aubergine to prevent them from bursting in the pan. Gently place the aubergine into the hot oil.
  5. Gently turn the aubergines over every minute and allow them to cook for 7 minutes.
  6. Get a large bowl of cold water (pop in some ice if you have any). When the aubergines have cooked for 7 minutes, plunge them into the iced cold water. They will immediately shrivel up.
  7. Once the aubergines have cooled, peel their skin. It will come away really easily.
  8. Now cut the aubergine lengthways so that you have 4 pieces. Take one aubergine section and cut it lengthways on the diagonal. Place both sections onto a serving plate.
  9. Place a portion of the noodles across the centre of the aubergine on the diagonal. Layer the pork soboro on top and finish off with some of the dressing, sesame seeds and shichimi pepper.

Luiz suggests eating it at room temperature, which I did. All the elements of the dish can be prepared in advance, which is always a bonus if you are entertaining.

Please don’t be put off by the lengthy ingredient list. From start to finish this dish will not take longer to prepare than 30 minutes. It really is very tasty indeed.





Foodies Christmas Wish List

Where has this year gone? Faster than the Japanese bullet train out of Tokyo, if you ask me. Before you know it Father Christmas will climbing down the chimney, so I thought some gift inspiration for your foodie loved ones might be rather helpful. I have included a wide range of present ideas: from those you can eat, drink, serve, read and experience. Hopefully there will be a few that will jump out at you. At the bottom of the post I have listed the order of the products with a bit more info and if you click on the name of the product it will send you through to the website where you can buy the product. They range in price from stocking filler ideas to more extravagant presents to hopefully suit everyones budget.

I’d love to know what stands out to you so do leave me a quick comment below.



Nikkei Cuisine by Luiz Hara Competent homecooks will adore supper club guru and food blogger ‘Luiz Hara’s’ first cook book, recently published by Jacqui Small. It has been described as ‘the first cookery book outside of Latin America to explore the exciting marriage of Japanese and South American cuisines’. The photographs are a feast for the eyes and the recipes so different and exciting that just leafing through the pages itself is wonderfully exciting.

Cheeky Smelly Garlic Pickle Recently in Selfridges as part of ‘Meet the Makers’ campaign this tasty little pickle is utterly moorish and I love a dollop of it on most savoury things. Cheeky Food Company also have some adorable pickle, chutney and sprinkle hampers for £14. Other pickles and chutneys  include: messy mango and tickly tamarind. I also adore their tasty sprinkles: silly sesame, pecky peanut and nutter coconut. Perfect stocking fillers. Check out their site on the link of their name.

Stone Pestle and Mortar by Tom Dixon – How beautiful is this? This is the Queen of all pestle and mortars. Stunningly crafted it would fit right in in a contemporary kitchen. Big love.

Sipsmith Quarterly Sipping Service – For those who like surprises this is a fabulous gift for gin lovers. Every 3 months Sipsmith select the 4 best gins they have trialled that season – and send them directly to you. It will mean you get first dibs on knowing what these gins are, finding out what’s happening behind their blue Distillery Doors, getting to taste them, and letting them know what you think.

Dreambirds Pitcher – My brother and his ladylove bought me the cake stand version of this and I absolutely adore it. It’s designed by South African artist Ruan Hoffmann. A veritable master at combining traditional craftsmanship with modern art, the Johannesburg artist continues to span the surfaces of everything from ceramics to paper goods with his exquisite motifs. Gorgeous gift for someone special.

Turmeric, Original, Cacao and Berry Almond Milk by The Pressery – The Pressery is THE almond milk company to purchase your almond milk beverages from.  Set up by dynamo duo Chi-San Wan and Natali Stajcic they will soon be launching a high-quality and pure, long-life almond milk. They sell in a number of London based outlets but watch this space as it won’t be long before you will be seeing this brand of almond milk all around the UK and beyond.

Lulu Cocktail Glasses Set of Four – I rather love these miss matching cocktail glasses. Fun, quirky and yet elegant, they make cocktail drinking that bit more fun.

Acacia Honey with Black Truffles – Award winning honey with black truffles is a gift from the gods. How exciting would it be to receive this as a gift. Definitely on my radar to pick up a pot or three. Easy to order online through Fine Food Specialist

Citrus Squeeze Bottle Opener – at £10 this is the perfect stocking filler. Stylish, sophisticated and handmade.

Taste: The Infographic Book of Food by Laura Rowe & Vicki Turner – This book is refreshingly different and original in that it charts history and predicts trends with the help of naturally-styled imagery and fact-packed illustrations. It’s the type of book that you’ll want to pick up and dive into from time to time. Perfect for a coffee table as well as in the kitchen.

Form Square Tray by Tom Dixon – Beautiful crafted tray made from spun and welded brass sheet. It has then been polished and dipped in a warm gold wash. Sophisticated and decadent I think this would be the centre piece of any occasion with Christmas cocktails, mulled wine or champagne.

Tikapur Oven Mitts – The Kantha stitching on these mitts won me over. I think they would look perfect in any country cottage or city dwelling.

Perello Pitted Olives THE tastiest olives around. Seriously they are so good I could eat cans of them. Perfect stocking fillers. Deliamo offer a wide range of goodies perfect for the foodie in your family and can deliver.

Palmeral Mug White/Green – If you are into prints and patterns, House of Hackney, is the epitome of cool. Making a trip to the Shoreditch High Street store itself is highly recommended although you will find it hard to drag yourself away.  I adore the whole Palmeral range from the mugs to the plates and teapot. Start the collection by purchasing a mug and then build from there, but trust me when I say you won’t be able to stop at just one.

Nudo Adopt  We all have family members or friends who are tricky to buy for as they have everything. This gift is perfect for said individuals.  I have, in fact, bought it a couple of times for friends and they’ve loved it as it is so original gift. It’s simple. All you do is choose olive oil or tea. If you go for the former you adopt a tree in Italy and receive three 500ml tins or an ongoing subscription – whereby they send you three tins 4x a year. You can also visit the olive grove should you happen to be in Italy (I see a good ruse for a holiday here ;o) and 20% off Nudo products. If you opt for the tea you adopt a tea garden in Darjeeling. Like the olive groves you can also visit it as well, which would be pretty special. You receive either 125g tea sachet as a one off or you can have it sent to you quarterly. What’s not to love.

Easy Tasty Magic – Truffle Salt – Stocked in Selfridges this truffle salt sounds wonderfully decadent and I adore the turquoise packaging – it is certainly eye catching.

A Year in Cheese by Alex and Leo Guarneri – This beautiful cookbook come from the team behind the  famous artisan cheese shop Androuet, which was established in Paris in 1909 and opened in fashionable Spitalfields in London in 2009. Did you know that cheese like vegetables are seasonal? This wonderfully crafted book walks us through what to eat when sharing delicious recipes along the way. The photographs are wonderful – matt and atmospheric and make me actually want to cook the recipes. An absolute must for any lover of cheese. Published by Frances Lincoln.

Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round Casserole – in Cool Mint (of course) – Many moons ago I received one of these casserole dishes from Le Creuset as a wedding present and I can honestly say that I use it all the time. Cast iron, whilst obviously heavy, does actually cook the food really well. It is perfect for stews, casseroles and curries as it holds in the heat well and is large enough to feed a number of mouths. At £145 it’s not cheap but the fact that they really do last a life time it is certainly a very worthwhile investment. I adore the cool mint colour that they have bought out. Which is your favourite colour?

Gleaming Feather Cocktail Shaker – I thought this cocktail shaker would be perfect to accompany either Good Things To Drink or Wild Drinks and Cocktails.

Nudo Olive Oils – I have been a fan of Nudo oils for years. This set of three is a gorgeous spoiling present. Extra virgin olive oil with lemons, extra virgin olive oil with Sicilian chillies and extra virgin cold press. Great packaging to boot.

Good Things To Drink – Tis the season and all so what better way to get in the festive mood than to have a tome to help guide you. Ryan Chetiyawardana (the man behind award-winning London bars White Lyan and Dandelyan) is the man to help you guide you with his user friendly cocktail recipes to create in the home. As well as winter feasting and fireside serves he has chapters focusing on ‘morning buzz’, ‘market fresh’, ‘summer social sips’, ‘pre-dinner’, ‘friday nights’ and ‘rambles’. Published by Frances Lincoln I can see it being a christmas hit.

Portland Bar Set  – You have the book and the cocktail shaker so may as well look like a pro with this Portland bar set. Cocktail making has never been so stylish.

Gimmer Ring Coaster – I adore copper and think these coasters are perfectly formed in every way.

Vida Sky Salad Set  – Simple and elegant. I have my heart set on a pair of these for christmas.

High As A Moon Mug – Stylish mug for the coffee/tea drinker.

Wild Drinks and Cocktails by Emily Tan – It’s time folks to embrace drinks featuring local, fresh, or foraged ingredients and craft drink expert Emily Tan’s new book will show you how.  She’ll teach you the techniques you need to know to handcraft you own infused waters, syrups, vinegars, tonics, spirits, wines and sodas.

Glass Teapot With Porcelain Infuser 700ml – A graceful glass design, the Weave teapot is designed to celebrate the ancient Chinese art of tea brewing. Designed and made in Shanghai by Loveramics, this simple piece combines smooth modern style and functionality to produce a cup of tea tailored to your taste buds. I adore it and think it would make the perfect gift for any tea enthusiast.

Ferment Your Vegetables by Amanda Feifer – Fermentation expert Amanda Feifer serves as your guide, showing you, step by step, how you can create traditional, delicious fermented food at home, using only simply ingredients and a little time. Using only veggies, a few spices and a glass jar, you can make zucchini bread pickles, curried cauliflower pickles, the simplest sauerkraut, green bean kimchi and more!

Squirrel Nut Cracker  Christmas is all about cracking open nuts around the fire. So this whimsical squirrel nut cracker is both charming and useful.

Pimp my Rice by Nisha Katona – Nisha is a food writer, Indian cookery teacher and founder of Mowgli Street Food in Liverpool and Manchester. Her first cookbook focuses on rice as its star ingredient. The world loves rice right and Nisha has come up with a wide array of exciting recipes incorporating rice in refreshingly original ways. From Lebanese rose petal rice to pimped rice piri piri, her recipes breath a new lease of life into plain boiled rice. Published by Watkins Publishing it is out now.




Don’t forget to leave comment below to let me know what takes your fancy.







Spinach with Shallots, Green Raisins and Red Peanuts


My latest addiction is spinach.

I know I know how crazy do I sound? I’ve always liked it mind you, but of late it’s gone up a notch or two. It’s probably my body screaming at me that ‘I NEED MORE IRON‘.

 I’m happy to eat it in all its incarnations for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s super versatile and is cooked quicker than the time it takes to get your bowl/plate and cutlery together.


Recently I visit a local eatery called ‘The Little Taperia‘ in Tooting in the strip, which is fast becoming increasingly hip and cool. Sitting next to Soho House’s ‘Chicken Shop’ and virtually opposite the newly established the ‘Trafalgar Arms’, ‘The Little Taperia’ offers Spanish tapas at it’s best; I could literally eat the whole menu. It was packed on my visit with a wonderful buzz to the place. The decor (love the floor tiles) and general vibe was conducive to a relaxed, memorable evening, so if you have not yet been I urge you to get down there and experience it for yourself.


Back to the spinach. You are probably wondering where spinach and ‘The Little Taperia’ fit together.  Well it was there that I ate a delicious spinach dish that inspired me to create my own version of the dish for you today. They used pine nuts and I can’t recall if they added raisins but I’m thinking they did as the dish had a subtle sweetness, which I don’t think was coming from the onions alone – but may well have been. Needless to say the dish was utterly delicious and I think the one that I have created for you equally hits the spot.

I’ve eaten it on a few occasions since and this time I accompanied it with my Indian dal with butternut squash. I don’t actually have that recipe up on my blog but a very similar one using marrow can be found here.


I add a dollop of ghee – clarified butter – on the top but if you are off diary or watching your waist line then just omit that part.

Spinach with Shallots, Green Raisins and Red Peanuts

2 tbsp light olive oil

2 banana shallots, finely sliced

pinch of salt

35g red peanuts (works out to be a handful)

35g green raisins (works out to be a handful)

240g fresh spinach

1 tbsp ghee

  1. Heat a pan with the oil and when it is medium hot add the banana shallots and pinch of salt and leave to soften and begin to bronze, which will take around 5 minutes.
  2. Add the green raisins and red peanuts and move around the pan. After a minute add the spinach.
  3. Place a lid the pan so that the spinach wilts. After a minute give a stir and then add the ghee. Let it melt and then serve immediately.

It is perfect with meat or fish but in this instance I ate it with some of my butternut squash dal, which was hit the spot for a delicious vegetarian supper. My butternut squash dal is similar to my marrow dal but uses butternut squash instead of marrow. Check it out here.


Sweet Potato, Albacore Tuna, White Bean, Avocado and Rocket Salad


Salads in winter are a revelation. Whilst I adore and encourage wonderful winter warming stews and curries, I also love to have light salads on occasion. I crave fresh spinach and rocket and am also rather partial to consuming an avocado. This salad I literally threw together one lunch time last week and had not planned to create a blog post around it – hence the one photo I took on my iPhone quickly before devouring  the meal.

This salad I literally used up things that needed eating in my fridge and the result was heavenly. It got a number of instagram likes so thought I would share it here too. It’s more a case of assembling than anything else, but I hope I can encourage you to try it. I often tend to roast extra sweet potatoes so that I can use the leftovers in a salad a day or two later – hence the ones I used here.

Sweet Potato, Albacore Tuna, White Bean, Avocado and Rocket Salad 

serves 2

2 roasted sweet potato, cut into bite sized pieces

1 avocado, cubed

4 tbsp white beans

1/2 jar of Albacore tuna in olive oil

2 large handfuls of fresh rocket

salt and pepper, to taste


Lemon and Basil Oil Dressing

juice of half a lemon

2 tbsp basil infused olive oil


  1. Assemble all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, gently mix and then plate up.
  2. Scatter each salad with a little basil infused olive oil and fresh lemon juice.


Mexican Slow Cooked Pork Cheeks With Chipotle, Polenta and Fino


With the clocks having gone back last weekend, the nights are drawing in earlier and winter seems almost knocking at our door. With the colder months set out before us, hearty food comes into its own. It’s with this in mind that I came up with this wintery of dishes. The type of meal that you can only really do justice to after a long bracing walk. Pork cheeks, if you have never tried them before, are flakey, succulent and a real treat to have now and again. I cook them at a low temperature (130 degrees) for 3 hours, which gives a similar texture to pulled pork. I have combined them with a Mexican influenced sauce, which envelopes the pork cheeks making them irresistibly tasty.


I have paired the dish with a glass of Fino, which cuts through the sweet, sticky richness of the pig cheeks sauce. I ordered both the pork cheeks and Fino from Greys Fine Foods, which are Spanish food importers and supplies based in Yorkshire. They have won many gourmet food accolades and have a wide selection of really tasty food and drink, perfect for the Christmas season. They are well priced and even do next day deliver, which is a real bonus.


I have paired the pork cheeks with creamy polenta, which is the perfect partner to soak up all the tasty sauce. I know polenta divides people but please trust me when I say it really comes into its own in this dish.


So I hope you get to give this one a go over the winter months. Let me know how you get on and if you are on instagram take a photo of it and use the #chilliandmint and tag me @chilliandmint so I can see. It comfortably feeds 6 people as you’ll find that two pig cheeks are very filling.


Mexican Slow Cooked Pork Cheeks With Chipotle 

serves 6

3 whole dried chipotle chillies

1,246kg pork cheeks

flour for dusting

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

350g red onion, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

3 carrots, finely chopped

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp tomato puree

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 handful of fresh oregano

2 tbsp demerara sugar

700ml vegetable stock

50ml Fino En Rama

1/2 juice of an orange

  1. Preheat an oven to 130 degrees.
  2. Place the dried chipotle chillies in a pan of boiling water so that they are covered and simmer for 30 mins.
  3. Place some plain flour on a plate and then dust all the pigs cheeks. Heat a large pan and add a little vegetable oil and bronze the pigs cheeks in batches. This will take a couple of minutes on each side. Place to one side to rest.
  4. In the same pan add a little more vegetable oil and add the cumin seeds followed after 20 seconds by the red onions and salt. After 5 minutes add the carrots and garlic and simmer gently for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile drain the chipotle and remove any seeds. Using a blender, blend them into a smooth paste.
  6. Add the cinnamon stock, bay leaves, tomato puree, chipotle paste, both vinegars, the Fino En Rama, fresh oregano and demerara sugar.
  7. Return the pig cheeks to the pan and coat them in the sauce.
  8. Add the vegetable stock so that the pig cheeks are submerged and place them in the oven for 3 hours.


Perfect Polenta

200ml milk

600ml water

1/2 tsp salt

150g powdered coarse polenta/cornmeal

1 heaped tbsp butter

  1. Heat the milk and water in a pan and add the salt.
  2. When the milk/water has boiled add the powdered polenta and whisk so that it become smooth and mixes completely with the water/milk.
  3. Whisk every few minutes, on a low heat, for 20-30 minutes so that the polenta remains smooth. Add a little more milk if you feel it is a little too thick. It will begin to come away from the sides. Taste to see if it is done and serve immediately.


Prawn Bisque


For those of you who read my last post on ‘tamarind prawn curry‘ I mentioned not to throw away the discarded prawn heads and shells. By cooking a simple stock with the prawn heads and shells will create the most amazing tasting broth. Seriously it requires very little effort and you have yourself yet another culinary feast. It freezes well if you want to eat it at a future date.

The photo above sadly does not do justice to the delicious tasting bisque. Next time I use shelled prawns I will reshoot and hopefully have a more temptingly attractive photograph of the bisque. Just trust me when I say that it tastes darn good. Happy eating.

Prawn Bisque

serves 4 

All the prawn shells and heads from the prawns you used in the above curry

cover the prawns completely with boiling water

1 red onion,  chopped

1 garlic, chopped

4 bay leaves

5 black peppercorns

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

juice of quarter of a lemon

1 tbsp tomato puree

1.2 tsp sugar

salt to taste

1 tsp cornflour – 3 tsp cold water

  1. Place the prawns shell and heads in a deep pan and cover completely with boiling water.
  2. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, red onion and garlic to the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Using a hand blender blend the contents of the pan. This might sound unusual to blend the shells and heads, but trust me the flavour that comes from them is incredible.
  4. Place the contents of the pan through a fine sieve. Use the back of a spoon to push all the goodness through. What comes through should be a completely fine liquid. Discard the remaining shells that have not gone through the sieve. Overall it will make around 800g of liquid.
  5. In the same pan add the butter and when it is melted add the tomato puree, smoked paprika, lemon juice and sugar. Add the prawn broth liquid and stir gently. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
  6. In a small bowl add the cornflour and cold water to make a smooth paste and then add the broth to thicken slightly. Simmer gently for a further few minutes.
  7. Season further to taste and then serve. You could also easily freeze this once it has cooled ready to use on a separate occasion.

Prawn and Tamarind Curry


Prawn curries are one of my favourite. Earlier this year another of my prawn recipes made its way into Delicious Magazine – see here – have you tried it yet? Decadent and spoiling, prawns are incredibly tasty, especially if they are of the king prawn variety. I am also a huge fan of tamarind, which has a very sweet and sour taste to it. So married together prawns and tamarind create a very satisfying meal.


These beauties start off grey, but rest assured as soon as they are cooked in the oil they turn pink almost immediately. I leave the tails on, more for cosmetic reasons than for any other. The rest of the shell is removed, but not discarded (next week I will show you what to do with all those discarded shells and heads), and the black vein that runs along the prawns back is discarded completely.



Other than peeling and deveining the prawns, this dish is incredibly quick to make and totally doable on a busy work week. Taking time to eat a delicious, comforting meal in the evening I think is so important. If you invest a little bit of time in preparation you really are rewarded with a memorable feast.




Prawn and Tamarind Curry

serves 4

600g king prawns, peeled but keep the tails on, devein

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp tamarind paste

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1/s tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp vegetable oil

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp salt

150 ml of boiling water

fresh coriander leaves to scatter when serving

  1. Peel, devein (make an incision down the back of the prawn to reveal a black vein, remove with a sharp knife and discard) and keep the tails on, scatter with the salt and then place to one side. Don’t forget to keep those shells and heads and I will show you how to make a magnificent prawn broth which turns into a prawn bisque next week!
  2. In a small bowl add the tamarind pulp, ground cumin and coriander, chilli powder and turmeric. Stir to form a smooth paste.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan on a medium low heat and then add the garlic and ginger. After a minute add the prawns and stir for a further minute so that they become a lovely pink colour.
  4. Add the tamarind paste and coat the prawns. Immediately add the boiling water and stir. Simmer gently for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately with either rice, puri or other Indian flat bread.

So simple and yet utterly delicious