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Tamarind pepper prawns

Tamarind pepper prawns

Prawns marinated in garlic, annatto (a condiment made from the seeds of the achiote tree) and Scotch bonnet peppers are a staple in Jamaican cuisine. This version by Melissa Thompson swaps the annatto for more readily available tamarind.

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Gluten free
  • Serves4
  • CourseStarter
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook10 mins
  • Total time30 mins
  • Plusmarinating


  • 400g No.1 Whole Tiger Prawns
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges, to serve

Green sauce

  • ½ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley
  • ½ x 25g pack coriander
  • 1 clove/s garlic
  • 1 shallot or ½ small red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ Scotch bonnet chilli (optional)


  • 50g tamarind paste
  • ½ red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 clove/s garlic
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli, to taste, (deseeded, if liked)
  • 1 salad onion
  • ½ tsp golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • ½ tsp thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil


  1. Whizz all the green sauce ingredients in a blender until combined but still slightly coarse; transfer to a small bowl. Cover and chill until needed (up to 24 hours ahead).

  2. Put the prawns in a sieve and rinse in cold water. Put all the marinade ingredients in a blender; whizz until smooth. Put the prawns in a bowl, pour over the marinade, rubbing into all sides, then cover and marinate in the fridge for up to 1 hour. Prepare and light the barbecue.

  3. When the coals are white-hot, place the prawns on the grill, discarding any excess marinade. Leave until they come away easily (about 5 minutes – if they stick, leave a little longer); turn over and cook for another 3-5 minutes until pink, opaque and cooked through.

  4. Arrange on a dish with the green sauce alongside for dipping, plus the lime wedges for squeezing over. Serve immediately.

Cook’s tip

Deveining prawns. If you wish to devein your prawns, use scissors to poke under the joint between body and head. Cut down the spine; leave the tail intact. Use a toothpick to scoop under the dark line, then drag it out; rinse.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


907kJ/ 217kcals



Saturated Fat












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