Home > Food, Travel, Wine > Decadent Creamy Prawns

Decadent Creamy Prawns

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Yield: 6-8

What a treat!

The weather is sublime as I sit writing this, and a gentle breeze ruffles the tranquil waters of Swartvlei, beckoning me to bait a hook and wet a line, in pursuit of some of the large spotted grunter that are rumoured to frequent these tranquil waters.

Sitting watching the water birds paddling lazily by, a mere 50 odd metres from our chalet, reminds me that the high tide is eminent, and if I do plan to go fishing today, I’d better get a move on! To quote the inimitable American author and journalist, William Zinsser, I must perforce seek in my recipe, three of “the four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity and simplicity”.

My dear friend Shamini Schaaf – once again resident in South Africa after six years in Germany – spent many Christmas holidays in Sweden with her family. Observing the maxim of quick and easy holiday meals, with the added rider of the smallest number of ingredients, she came up with a creamy prawn recipe that, once made, looks and tastes as if it originates in some fancy Michelin four-star restaurant.

So, what follows, is by kind permission of Shamini, my guru of Indian cuisine. It takes about 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish, calls for readily available ingredients, and therefore easily qualifies as a perfect holiday meal. It is an ideal light main course, but works just as well, as a substantial starter to a lighter dinner party main course.

Ingredient Selection and Preparation

800g prawns: head on, cleaned, deveined and uncooked. Rinse well in a colander and set aside to drain.

2 cloves of garlic: finely chopped, as opposed to crushed. This is important according to Shamini.

1 medium onion: finely chopped.

¼ tsp cinnamon

50ml canola oil

50g butter

2tsp fresh oreganum: if the stalks are young and tender, include them as well, otherwise just the leaves picked, and finely chopped.

70g tomato paste

Salt and pepper: to taste.

2tsp brown sugar

250ml cream


Heat a medium saucepan, and add the canola and butter. Add the onion then sprinkle in the 1/4tsp of cinnamon. Sautè the onion for about 5 minutes, taking care that it does not brown.

Add the clove of chopped garlic, and sauté for about 2 minutes, again ensuring that the garlic does not brown, or else it becomes bitter.

Add the oreganum, tomato paste and sugar, and sauté for a further 3 minutes.

Add the cream and the prawns, and cook until they are all pink, about 5 minutes or so.

Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with chunks of fresh warm baguette. Enjoy!

Wine Match

Cream, being the mouth-coating ingredient that it is, calls for a wine that will cope with this sensory depriver, and what better option than a full-bodied, wooded Chenin Blanc?

The best wooded Chenin Blanc at the Surepure Chenin Blanc Challenge this year was Bellingham’s 2006 The Maverick and it works marveloously with this dish.

A radiant pale gold in colour, the wine is shot through with hints of green.

Beguiling hints of vanilla and cloves on the nose support perfumed tropical fruitiness and rich peaches and cream.

The spiciness follows onto the palate, accompanied by overtones of winter melon and sweet apricots. The finish is long and creamy with a gentle hint of vanilla and oak right at the end.

Categories: Food, Travel, Wine
  1. Roy de Witt
    February 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    sorry no comments, i have yet to try one of your recipes…..look forward to that!!! Where can i post my family’s favourite things we eat, thought out by my own fair head (as opposed to hands)?, and of course not forgetting dear darling’s contributions….

  2. February 2, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Hi Roy,
    You’re welcome to post your stuff here on my blog. Register yourself on the blog, and I’ll give you moderated contributor status.

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