Serve this as it is, with some crusty white bread to mop up the juices, or dot some cubes of white feta or black olives (or both) on top. A crisp green salad with a lemony dressing on the side and you’re all set.
Batch-make the base for the stew here, if you like: this freezes well and keeps in the fridge for a good few days. That way you can just char your cherry tomatoes and pan-fry the prawns in minutes. The coriander pesto can also be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in the fridge.
cherry tomatoes 250g
olive oil 60ml
onion 1 large, finely chopped (180g)
garlic 4 cloves, crushed
ginger 2cm piece, peeled and finely grated (15g)
green chilli 1, finely chopped
coriander seeds 2 tsp, lightly crushed in a pestle and mortar
cumin seeds 1½ tsp, lightly crushed in a pestle and mortar
cardamom pods 8, lightly bashed in a pestle and mortar
dill 20g, finely chopped
tomato puree 2 tsp
plum tomatoes 6, roughly chopped (500g)
salt and black pepper
raw king prawns 600g, peeled
For the coriander pesto
coriander 30g, roughly chopped
green chilli 1, finely chopped
pine nuts 50g, lightly toasted
lemon 1, finely grate the zest to get 1½ tsp, then cut into wedges, to serve
olive oil 80ml
Place a large sauté pan on a high heat. Toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of oil and, once the pan is very hot, add the tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice, until blistered and heavily charred on all sides. Remove the tomatoes from the pan and set them aside.
Wipe the pan clean, add 2 tablespoons of oil and replace it on the stove on a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, spices, dill and tomato puree and cook for another 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the plum tomatoes, 300ml of water, 1½ teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the tomatoes have completely broken down.
While the sauce is cooking, make the coriander pesto. Put the coriander, chilli and pine nuts into a food processor and pulse a few times until the pine nuts are roughly crumbled. Transfer to a bowl and add the lemon zest, oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a grind of black pepper. Mix to combine, then set aside.
Pat the prawns dry and mix them in a bowl with ¼ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of oil and a good grind of black pepper.
Put 2 teaspoons of oil into a large frying pan and place on a high heat. Once hot, add the prawns in batches and fry for a minute on each side, until cooked through and nicely browned. Set each batch aside while you continue with the remaining prawns. When the sauce is ready, stir in the prawns and charred tomatoes and cook on a medium heat for about another 3 minutes, to heat through. Serve either straight from the pan or spoon into wide shallow bowls. Scoop out the cardamom pods before serving, if you like: they are there to flavour the dish rather than to be eaten. Dot with about half of the pesto and serve at once, with the lemon and remaining pesto in a bowl alongside.
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