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  • Dinner
  • Foodforfriends
  • Yogurt


  • 4 servings


Tamarind sharpens this simple and lively tomato sauce, laced with ginger, garlic and mint.

Of all the raitas, cucumber does it best; you want something really cooling to dampen the fire of all those chillies and spice. This chunky take on it serves as a salad instead of a sauce. We would ladle it over some skinny noodles or plain rice.

This recipe was created by Annie Bell, and is one of many divine recipes from her Cookbook #TheModernDairy

Step by Step (tick the boxes as you go)
  • 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/gas mark 7.
  • 2 Cover the tamarind pulp with the boiling water in a small bowl and set aside for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally as it softens.
  • 3 Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and fry the shallots, ginger and garlic for a few minutes until softened, stirring frequently.
  • 4 Press the tamarind purée through a sieve into the pan, discarding the fibres.
  • 5 Add the tomatoes, fish sauce, sugar, cayenne and a little salt, bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes until you have a rich, well-reduced sauce. This can be made in advance.
  • 6 Stir the prawns, half the mint leaves and the chilli rings into the sauce and transfer to a roasting or gratin dish (about 30 × 20cm) that holds the curry in a shallow layer.
  • 7 Drizzle over the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and roast for 10 minutes, then scatter over a few more mint leaves. Serve with rice or noodles and the raita.
  • 8 For the raita: Place the cucumber slices in a bowl, toss with a liberal sprinkling of salt and set aside for 30 minutes to draw out the juices. Rinse the cucumber in a sieve and pat dry.
  • 9 Mix the yogurt with the sugar and a little salt in a bowl, then fold in the cucumber.
  • 10 Transfer to a clean serving bowl, coarsely grind the cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar and scatter over, and if you like a little paprika.
  • 11 If making it in advance, cover and chill, give it a stir before serving and then sprinkle over the spice.
For the curry
  • 25g tamarind block, broken up
  • 4 tablespoons boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • sea salt
  • 400g raw peeled king prawns
  • handful of small mint leaves
  • 1 medium–hot red chilli, seeds discarded and cut into thin rings
  • noodles or rice, to serve
  • 1 cucumber, ends discarded, peeled and finely sliced
  • sea salt
  • 250g natural Greek yogurt
  • large pinch of caster sugar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
  • paprika (optional)
You’ll need