Tandoori prawns with spinach and dill sambal

The award-winning Spirit House Restaurant and Cooking School is a must visit Sunshine Coast foodie destination. In fact, this acclaimed Yandina restaurant is so popular, the chefs hold daily classes in the purpose built, hands-on cooking school.

If you can't get your tastebuds to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, then wrap your oven gloves around, Spirit House, The Cookbook. The restaurant's third cookbook is brimming with mouth-watering recipes including Thai favourites and other Asian-fusion dishes. The photography is stunning and will inspire home gourmets to whip up their own sweet, sour, salty and spicy delights. Try it for yourself. Pick up some fresh Mooloolaba prawns and have a crack at this Indian twist on an Australian barbecue favourite!

Serves 6–8 as part of a shared meal

Prep: 45 minutes + 2 hours marinating • Cook: 10 minutes • Moderate

Spinach and dill sambal

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch spinach, washed
  • 3 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
  • 250 g (8 oz) plain yoghurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed to a paste
  • 2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Place the washed spinach in a pot and cook until just wilted. You should not need any water. When cool, squeeze out excess moisture and chop finely.

Place the chopped spinach in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.

Tandoori prawns

Ingredients

  • 60 ml (2½ fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 1 large green chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon tikka or tandoori paste (store bought)
  • 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • 18 green king prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined*

* Your choice if you want to keep the heads and/or tails on the prawns.

Garam masala, a popular Indian powder mix, is often added to a dish at a late stage of cooking as a flavouring agent. It can be bought at supermarkets and Asian grocery stores or you can make it yourself if you wish.

Method

Combine all the ingredients, except the prawns, in a mortar and pound to a smooth paste.

Place prawns in a shallow bowl. Add the paste and coat well. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.

Preheat a lightly oiled chargrill plate or barbecue to medium. Cook the prawns for 3–5 minutes, turning a few times.

Transfer to serving platter and serve with the spinach and dill sambal.

Spirit House Cookbook
New Holland Publishers
RRP $49.99 available from all good bookstores or order online