This recipe is based on the classic samke harra, or spicy fish. Norma has used prawns instead of fish and has caramelised the onions, which lends a modern touch without losing the fantastic authentic flavours.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (21 votes)


  • 16 large green prawns, peeled with tails intact, cleaned
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts


Caramelised onion

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced


Taratour (tahini sauce)

  • 140 g (½ cup) tahini
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

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.


Serves 4 as part of a mezza spread 

To make caramelised onion, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until browned and caramelised. Set aside.

Meanwhile, to make taratour, place ingredients in a food processor or blender with 125 ml water and ½ tsp salt and process to combine. Set aside. Sauce will keep refrigerated for up to 1 month.

Place prawns in a large bowl, add cumin, chilli powder and ¾ tsp salt and toss to coat. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook prawns, turning, for 3 minutes or until just cooked.

Arrange prawns on a serving dish and drizzle with reserved taratour. Scatter over toasted pine nuts and most of the caramelised onion. Serve with extra taratour and remaining caramelised onion together in a bowl.


Photography Mark Roper


As seen in Feast magazine, November 2013, Issue 26.