Piri piri prawns with mango & padrón peppers

  • 4 persons
  • cooking time:30
  • difficulty


  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 300 g rice
  • 600 g raw prawns, peeled, heads and tails left on and deveined
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 chillies (chiles), finely sliced
  • 1 mango, peeled and flesh diced
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 sprigs of coriander (cilantro)
  • 20 g butter
  • 300 g padrón peppers
  • groundnut oil (peanut) oil, for frying
  • light olive oil, for frying
  • salt and pepper

How to prepare

We all think the term ‘piri piri’ comes from Portugal but originally it was the Portuguese who brought it from America to Mozambique. ‘Piri’ meaning ‘chilli’ in Swahili. But in Mozambique they make piri piri dishes sweeter by adding mango to the base which gives a perfect spicy sweetness to the butterflied prawns (shrimp).


  • 1 Heat a little groudnut (peanut) oil in a saucepan and sauté 1 clove of finely chopped garlic for 2-3 minutes without letting it brown. Add the rice and stir for 30 seconds and then pour in enough cold water to come 1 cm above the rice. Bring to boil, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, by which time the rice should have absorbed all the water. Take the pan off the heat and, with the lid left on, leaqve the rice stand for 10 minutes.
  • 2 Butterfly the prawns (shrimp) by cutting them open lenghtwise but without cutting them completely in half. Sprinkle the prawns with the paprika and set aside.
  • 3 Heat a little groudnut oil in another pan and fry the remaining 3 cloves of garlic, onion and chili (chile) for a few minutes until softened. Add the mango and the juice of half a lime. Stir well and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Tip the contents of the pan into the bowl of a blender or food processor, add the olive oil and liquidize or process until smooth. Season with salt.
  • 4 Heat 2 tablespoons of light olive oil and the butter in a frying pan (skillet) over a high heat. Fry the prawns until they are browned on all sides, turning them over every 30 seconds and taking care not to overcook them. Remove the prawns from the pan.
  • 5 Heat 2 tablespoons of light olive oil in a second frying pan and fry the padrón peppers for about 5 minutes, stirring and turning them over ocassionally. Season with a pinch of salt.
  • 6 Serve the friend prawns with the sauce, garnished with the coriander (cilantro) leaves. Accompany with the padrón peppers, rice and any leftover limes served separately.