A gorgeous Sri Lankan seafood recipe in which grilled prawns sit atop a "raft" of okra. They are scattered with crunchy pangratata for an Italian touch, and surrounded by bright little balls of potato, carrot and beetroot.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (9 votes)


  • 2 potatoes, peeled, cut into balls using a melon baller
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into balls using a melon baller
  • 1 large beetroot, peeled, cut into balls using a melon baller
  • 12 jumbo prawns
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 lime, juiced

Ladies’ finger sambol

  • 1 litre oil
  • 300 g ladies' finger (okra)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced


  • 50 g butter
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 2 thick slices bread, crusts removed, cut into small cubes
  • 1 prawn, chopped
  • salt and pepper


  • tomato slices
  • finely sliced deseeded chilli
  • Maldive fish
  • finely diced red onion
  • 6 gotu kola leaves, julienned

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.


Place the potato and carrot into a large pot over medium heat. Cover with water. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until just cooked. Drain and plunge into a bowl of cold water. Set aside .

In a separate pot, over medium heat, place the beetroot and cover with water. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until just cooked. Drain and plunge into a bowl of cold water. Set aside.

To make the pangratata, heat the butter and oil in a medium pot over high heat until the mixture starts to froth. Add the garlic. Fry until fragrant. Add the bread cubes and fry until the bread is crisped and golden, stirring occasionally. Add the prawn and fry until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and drain the bread, reserving the oil to cook the prawns. Chop the bread into smaller cubes and set aside.

To make the sambol, heat the oil in a large pot over high heat until it smoking. Add the okra in batches, frying for a few minutes or until golden. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel. Place in a bowl with the salt, pepper and lime juice, and toss to coat. Set aside.

Shell, devein and wash the prawns. Season with pepper.

Heat the reserved oil from the pangratata in a medium pan. Season the pan with salt. When the oil is hot, add the prawns and fry for a few minutes, or until cooked on one side. Turn the prawns over and continue to fry for a minute, or until cooked through. Transfer prawns to a plate and set aside.

Drain the potato, carrot and beetroot and add to the pan used to cook the prawns.

Stir to coat the vegetables in the leftover oil. Season to taste. Stir in the butter and lime juice. Remove from heat.

Place a small portion of the ladies’ finger sambol on each plate. Top with tomato slices and sprinkle with the sliced chilli, Maldive fish and diced onion. Top with prawns. Scatter over the pangratata and vegetables. Sprinkle with the julienned gotu kola to serve.