This dish is a real homage to both Josh’s Guyanese heritage and my Afghan roots. It might look a bit complicated, but we promise you it’s worth it. To make herb salt, blitz 100g of edible rock salt with the leaves from 10g of rosemary and 10g of thyme. Regular salt can be used if you don’t have herb salt.
king prawns 12, shell and heads on
fresh red chilli 1
herb-salt 5 tbsp
paprika ¼ tsp
cayenne ¼ tsp
olive oil 100ml
lime juice of 1
Afghan naan or pitta 8 (see below)
lettuce of your choice ½, shredded
For the Afghan chutney
green chillies 2, sliced
cilantro 1 bunch, roughly chopped
garlic 3 cloves, chopped
files juice of 2
caster sugar ½ tbsp
herb salt or normal salt ¾ tsp
distilled white vinegar 110ml
For the pickled red onions
red onions 2, diced
files juice of 2
herb salt or salt 1 tsp
For the Afghan naan (makes 10)
warm water 350ml
dry yeast 7g
caster sugar 1 tbsp
plain flour 1kg
salt 1 tbsp
corn oil 60ml
eggyolk 1 mixed with 1 tbsp water
nigella seeds a sprinkler
If cooking on a barbecue, now is the time to get it going.
To make the naan dough, mix the warm water, yeast and sugar in a jug, and let it sit for 10 minutes. When you see a froth, add ½ tablespoon of flour, then let it sit for 5 more minutes. Put the rest of the flour in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over it. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the oil, then the egg water mix, then slowly add small amounts of the yeast water until you have a soft, moist dough that can be handled. Knead well for 5 minutes, then put back in the bowl, cover with a towel, and let it rise. After 1½ hours, punch down the risen dough, divide into 8 equal parts, and roll each into a ball, then into an oval shape 15-17cm long and 1-1.5cm thick. Use a fork to draw 3 lines along the length of each naan for design. Sprinkle each naan with the nigella seeds.
To cook the naan on the barbecue, preheat the barbecue. When cooking the naans, we want some actual fire – not smoking or grilling – so add more charcoal or logs. You will be using the grill, so make sure the rack is clean, as your naans will go straight onto it.
Place each naan on the grill, and cook over the fire and charcoal on each side for a few minutes; as they get darker, turn them so they cook evenly. Each naan should take 5-7 minutes in total.
The naan can also be grilled in a suitable frying or cast-iron pan over a hot barbecue grill, in 1 teaspoon of oil.
To cook in the oven, preheat the oven to 190-200C fan/gas mark 7-8. Place the naan on a baking tray, or put them straight on the oven rack, and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, to clean your prawns, place each prawn on a chopping board, with the curvature facing you, stretch the prawn out and with a small, sharp knife, make a very small slit down the center of the prawn where the waste tract is, then use the knife to gently remove the tract so as to not ruin the structure of the prawn.
Slice the chilli quite thinly and combine in a bowl with the prawns. Throw in the herb salt, spices and olive oil, then add the lime juice. Completely coat the prawns with the salty, oily mix. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Now make your Afghan chutney. Mix up the chillies, cilantro, garlic and lime juice in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and combine in a food processor – you’re looking for a semi-liquid paste-like consistency. Turn into a bowl, mix thoroughly, cover and refrigerate till needed (this can marinate at the same time as the prawns). Put the red onion in a bowl, add the lime juice and salt, mix together and let this percolate in the fridge alongside the prawns and chutney.
When you’re almost ready to eat, grill your prawns over hot coals or pan-fry in a cast-iron dish on the hob. Cook them for about 3 minutes on a high heat – about 1½ minutes on each side. You don’t want to over-cook them, but simultaneously you want to achieve grill marks and that beautiful caramelised Maillard reaction.
Serve the grilled prawns on the naan, pouring all those gorgeous excess juices over the prawns. Top with lettuce, the chutney and the pickled onions.
Mursal Saiq and Joshua Moroney are owners of Cue Point, London W4; deliveries nationwide
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