The Bazaruto Archipelago, in Mozambique (Wander, January/February 2013), offers all the castaway fantasies of the Maldives without a whisper of mass tourism. On most beaches you can join island chefs as they bargain with fishermen for the day’s catch. Go for the tiger prawns, which many restaurants barbecue or stew in a tangy curry. To get a taste of Mozambique at home, try this recipe, from the Marlin Lodge, on Benguerra Island.
Tiger Prawns with Coconut Rice and Papaya Salsa
Recipe by Lorenzo Rurane, Chef at Marlin Lodge
INGREDIENTS: RICE AND PRAWNS
3 cups basmati rice
4 1/2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
24 large prawns, butterflied and veined keeping head and tail attached
2 cups melted butter
4 cloves roasted garlic (mix with melted butter)
INGREDIENTS: PAPAYA SALSA
1 cup papaya, chopped in small blocks
1 t chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 t pepperdew, chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped red onion
2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 t Honey or 1 t brown sugar
1 Tablespoon chopped green-pepper
MAKE IT: SALSA
1. Mix all ingredients together and test for sweetness.
MAKE IT: RICE AND PRAWNS
1. Rinse rice until it runs clear. Cover rice with water in bowl and let it stand for 15 min.
2. Drain rice and transfer into large pot with 4 1/2 cups water, then boil for 7 min. Add coconut milk and cook for another 5 min.
3. Remove from heat and let it stand covered to steam.
4. While the rice steams, put the prawns on a warm grill, oven, or barbecue, constantly basting with garlic butter until prawn shells have turned pink and the meat is white. Serve the prawns hot with your coconut rice and papaya salsa. (You can add vegetables or salad of your choice to compliment the dish.)