Piri – Piri Prawns

Brixton Village Grill

Piri-piri peppers are a variety of bird’s eye chilli pepper, packing a mighty punch despite their tiny size. Piri-piri is the Portuguese-Mozambican name for these peppers and has become the name of the recipe as well.

These prawns themselves aren’t spiced but are served at Brixton Village Grill alongside liberal helpings of their piri-piri sauce. Each piri-piri sauce recipe is unique to the person who makes it and I couldn’t get Cidalia to part with her version. You’ll have to come down to Brixton Village Grill and try to guess how they make it so good or you can try mine.


  • 1kg tiger prawns, shells off but tails left on
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons ground paprika
  • ½ bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • 250ml lemon juice (approximately 4 lemons)
  • 1 × 440ml tin coconut milk
  • salt and black pepper


If your tiger prawns aren’t cleaned, do this by opening them down the back with a knife – just enough to remove the dark thread inside that is the digestive tract. Don’t open the prawns out completely. I usually thread them onto skewers at this stage to make them easier to cook.

Make your marinade by crushing the garlic, paprika and coriander together into a paste. Season with salt and black pepper, then add the lemon juice and coconut milk and pour over the prawns, coating them well. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Cook the prawns under the grill for 3–4 minutes each side: they are ready when the flesh turns pink. They will be especially good if you can cook them over charcoal.

Serve with a rocket and Parmesan salad and a liberal helping of piri-piri sauce on the side.