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Dilmah Valley of Kings Ceylon pekoe prawn skewers with mulligatawny soup

Preparation time
Cooking time


For the stock

  • 12 x 16/20 prawns with the shell on, reserve the shells and meat
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, split
  • 1 hot red chilli, split
  • 1 x 2cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped

For the mulligatawny soup

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds, roasted
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns, ground
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp roasted fennel seeds, ground
  • Pinch of saffron
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 whole red chilli, split
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, finely diced
  • 1 medium eggplant, finely diced
  • 1 vine ripe tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 8 Dilmah Valley of Kings Ceylon Pekoe tea bags
  • 1 lime, juice only

For the dipping sauce

  • 12 skewers (if wooden, soaked in water for 1 hour to prevent burning)
  • 2 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 dry red chilli, finely crushed
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Dilmah Valley of Kings Ceylon Pekoe tea bag
  • 1 cup popcorn


  1. Shell, devein and wash the prawns, reserving heads and shells. Clean
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the prawns. Put each prawn on its back and lightly score its belly two or three times so that it can lie out flat. Place a skewer through each prawn, starting at the head and coming out at the tail. Remove the small spike between the two tail fins. Repeat with remaining prawns and refrigerate until required.
  3. Place 2 litres of water in a large pot, add the prawn shells, curry leaves, garlic, chillies, ginger and onion, bring to the boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a separate pan, over medium heat, add the chopped curry leaves, garlic, onion and spices. Fry until fragrant, being careful not to burn spices. Add to the prawn stock. (Reserve pan for later use, do not wash). Increase the heat, bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer, stirring occasionally, for a maximum of 20 minutes.
  5. In the reserved pan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the carrot, eggplant, tomato and gently fry for 4–5 minutes. Add the curry leaves and stir to combine. Add the tea bags to it and brew them until the flavour of the tea slightly masks the soup (approximately 5 minutes). Remove the stock from the heat and strain through a muslin-lined sieve or colander into the vegetable mixture. Bring to the boil, season to taste and add lime juice.
  6. In a separate bowl, place the mayonnaise, garlic, red chilli, sumac and parsley and stir to combine. Leave to one side. Cook popcorn according to directions, place in a blender and blend until fine crumbs.
  7. Remove the tea leaves from the bag and brew them until they just start to unfurl (expand). Remove from heat, chop and add a small amount to the mayonnaise mixture. Reserve the rest for garnishing.
  8. Heat some oil on a hotplate over high heat. Place the prawns on the hotplate and cook until just translucent. Remove each prawn from the heat and brush with mayonnaise mixture. Roll in popcorn.
  9. Sprinkle each prawn with a pinch of the leftover tea and serve with a small bowl of the mulligatawny soup.
Preparation time
Cooking time


Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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