Here is a dish that you can make without slaving in the kitchen for hours ( but impress the guests in the end). It is quite lovely with drinks or even as part of a main meal. All it takes it some colossal prawns (it is the holidays after all), some tandoori paste, yogurt, a shallot ( or a small amount of onion) lemon wedges and a hot oven. It will be ready in no time!
I have used Greek yogurt in this recipe, I find it creamier and it has a lower water content than regular yogurt. If you are using regular yogurt, line a sieve with cheesecloth ( 2 layers) or a sheet of kitchen paper, pour in the amount of yogurt that you need in and let sit for a few hours. Proceed with the recipe using the drained yogurt. This yogurt can be used to the raita as well.
1lb prawns ( 15 count)
1 tb tandoori paste - I used Patak's (wet paste)
3 tb yogurt
1 tb olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of salt
lemon wedges and cucumber raita ( recipe follows)
Wash ( in very cold water) and peel prawns, leaving tail intact. It serves as a handle while you feast on it ;) Pat dry.
In a bowl, mix tandoori paste, yogurt and olive oil. Marinate prawns in this paste for half an hour. Do not marinate any longer as the yogurt could soften the prawns and make it mealy.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spread prawns on a baking sheet in one layer, lined with parchment paper. Discard marinade that would be leftover. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. This dish can be served with drinks at room temperature or hot as part of a main meal. Serve with raita and wedges of lemon. I prefer to squeeze some lemon over the prawns right before indulging!
Cucumber & Shallot Raita
This cooling raita can be served with most curries and can be made ahead of time but salt it right before serving.
1 tsp cumin seeds
150 gm plain yogurt/Greek yogurt
1 small shallot- chopped fine
1/2 English cucumber- seeded and chopped fine
salt to taste
Dry roast cumin seeds lightly until the cumin seeds release a nutty aroma. Medium heat does the job, high heat will end up burning the seeds. If you do not end up with burnt seeds, start all over again because burnt seeds will taste bitter. Cool seeds and then crush lightly in a mortar and pestle.
Whip the yogurt with a fork and add all ingredients. Store in fridge.