Peter uses tea leaves to make a spicy tea-infused mulligatawny soup with prawns.






Skill level

Average: 5 (6 votes)



  • 12 medium prawns with the shell on reserve the shells and meat
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 hot red chilli
  • 1 x 2 cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
  • onions, roughly chopped

Mulligatawny soup

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds, roasted
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns, ground
  • ½ tsp roasted cumin powder
  • ½ tsp roasted fennel seeds, ground
  • 1 whole red chilli
  • pinch of saffron
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 1 medium eggplant, finely diced
  • tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime

Dipping sauce

  • 12 skewers
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • 1 tsp loose-leaf tea

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Shell, devein and wash the prawns and keep the prawn flesh to one side.

In a large pot of water, approximately 2 litres place the prawn shells, curry leaves, garlic, chillies, ginger and onions. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a separate pot and add the curry leaves, garlic, onion and spices.

Fry until fragrant, being careful not to burn, and then add to the prawn stock. Increase the heat, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for a maximum of 20 minutes.

In the pot used to fry the spices, heat some more oil. Don’t wash the pot out.

Add the carrot, eggplant, tomato and onion and gently fry for 4-5 minutes. Add the curry leaves and stir to combine.

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 leave to one side.

Remove the stock from the heat and strain into the vegetable mixture. Bring to the boil and season to taste. Then add the lime juice.

In a separate bowl, place the mayonnaise, garlic, red chilli and parsley and stir to combine. Leave to one side.

Place the tea in a small pan over high heat and lightly roast, being careful not to burn it. Remove from heat and add a small amount to the mayonnaise mixture. Reserve the rest for garnishing.

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 coat in the mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle each prawn with a pinch of the leftover tea and serve with a small bowl of the prawn soup.