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Zenjiflava: Tamarind and chilli king prawns with coconut rice
Mambo will regularly publish a food blog called Zenjiflava with the best traditional and modern recipes from the spice islands. This is one of my favourite recipes and one that you can prepare with all Zanzibari ingredients.
Try it if you are based in Zanzibar or if you've been on holiday and want a taste of the tropics at home. The tangy, hot prawns go well with the creamy coconut rice.
You will need:
- One box of king or jumbo prawns (in Zanzibar you can buy these next to Darajani market)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 large piece ginger
- 2 or 3 fresh red chillies
- Bunch of fresh coriander
- Tamarind paste (you can get tamarind paste or pods in many villages, or failing this you can get it imported from Thailand in some supermarkets in town)
- 2 teaspoonfuls of sugar
- Salt or Thai fish sauce to taste
First of all, shell and devein the prawns. Then let them marinate in the fridge in the chopped or grated garlic, the chopped chilli (remove seeds if you are of a more fragile disposition) and the chopped coriander. Next prepare your tamarind sauce - put the tamarind paste into a plastic jug and pour around 200ml of boiling water on top. With a fork, agitate the mixture until it becomes cloudy with tamarind, and then sieve into a saucepan. Let the mixture, with the sugar and salt or fish sauce added, reduce on a low heat for a little time. Put the mixture back into the jug.
At this stage, if you want a good accompaniment, you could throw together some coconut rice. Jasmine rice is good for this. Cook the rice either with a can of coconut milk plus water, or use a fresh coconut for an even better taste. If you're using a fresh coconut, either use an 'mbuzi' (local device for grating coconut) or you can use a blender. If you're using the latter method, smash the coconut with a hammer, take out the hard flesh, chuck it in the blender with lots of water and blend until the mixture is really white. Filter the mixture through a sieve to get your fresh coconut milk and use this for cooking the rice.
Once the rice is almost ready, put some oil in a frying pan and heat it, then chuck in the marinated prawns. Once they are turning nicely pink, pour the tamarind mixture on top, and give them another couple of minutes. Serve with the coconut rice and garnish with fresh coriander.
If you want to up the vitamin count, add a fresh mango and avocado salad, which will also add colour and freshness. Enjoy.
If you have a recipe idea for Mambo, please contact us at editorial [at] mambomagazine [dot] com