Mint Velvet Magazine

relaxed glamour happenings...

articles arrow down
What's Cooking? | Tapas


Sian Pilkington

Sian Pilkington



Small plates of food are so fashionable and are the perfect addition to your summer soirée. When planning your menu, turn to tapas to share amongst friends – with less time spent in the kitchen it will leave you with more time to entertain. We’ve selected a range of tasty dishes to get you started. And, don’t forget; shareables are perfectly paired alongside a glass of refreshing sangria.


Charred Shrimp with Nam Jim




Roots of a bunch of fresh coriander
2 garlic cloves
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger
1 large red chilli
Sea salt
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 lime
8 raw king prawns / jumbo shrimp (shell on)



  1. Using a pestle and mortar, pound the coriander roots, garlic, ginger and chilli until you get a paste. The skin of the chilli will come loose as you are creating the paste, you should pick it out and discard it. Add the sugar and pound then add a little salt, the fish sauce and juice from the lime. This creates the Nam Jim.
  2. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Cut the prawns / shrimp lengthways down the middle of the belly so you have long halves. Place them, flesh-side down on the pan, cook for 2 minutes then flip them over and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Once cooked arrange the prawns / shrimp together on a plate and scatter any leftover coriander leaves and chili slices. Drizzle with Nam Jim and serve.


Recipe by Jordan Bourke from the ‘Asian Tapas’ book (Published by Ryland Peters & Small)


Mushroom Pakoras




115 g cup chickpea/ gram flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
120 ml cup water
1⁄2 onion, chopped
200 g mushrooms, chopped
2–3 sprigs freshly chopped coriander/cilantro vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Lemon wedges, to serve (optional)


4 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander/cilantro or mint leaves
200 ml plain yogurt

SERVES 12-14


  1. First, make the yogurt dip. Stir the chopped coriander/cilantro or mint into the yogurt and set aside.
  2. Place the chickpea/gram flour, cumin powder and seeds, turmeric, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk in the water to form a smooth batter. Fold in the onion, mushrooms and coriander/cilantro.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan until very hot. Cook the pakoras in batches, dropping in a tablespoon of the mixture for each pakora. Fry for about 3–5 minutes, until golden brown, turning over each pakora as it cooks to ensure even browning. Remove the pakoras with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  5. Serve at once with the yogurt dip or lemon wedges for squeezing.


Recipe by Jenny Linford from the ‘Asian Tapas’ book (Published by Ryland Peters & Small)


Pinto Bean & Chorizo Tacos




175 g cup dried pinto beans
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
150g chorizo chopped or sliced
¼ onion, finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon salt
Serve with 8–12 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
200 g fresco or feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
freshly chopped coriander/ cilantro (optional)
Salsa (optional)


Soak the pinto beans overnight in plenty of cold water to soften them. After soaking, drain them and put into a deep saucepan with 1.5 litres of fresh water. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to low and cook for 2–2½ hours. Put a lid on the saucepan but do not cover fully – just tilt the lid so that there is a gap to allow steam to escape. Keep an eye on it just in case you need to add a little more water. At the end, you should be able to crush the beans easily between your fingers – but please don’t try this when they are hot! If they still have some bite, cook for a little longer, adding more water if necessary.


Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the chorizo pieces, onion and garlic and sweat for about 1 minute. Add the cooked beans and the paprika and cook for 10 minutes over a medium-low heat, using a potato masher to mash the beans continuously. The beans and chorizo should not be runny. Add the salt to taste.


Fill the warmed tortillas with the refried bean and chorizo mixture and stack next to each other on a serving plate. Now sprinkle the cheese and coriander/ cilantro, if using, onto each taco and serve with the additional chorizo and salsa alongside.


Recipe from ‘Everybody Loves Tacos’ by Ben Fordham and Felipe Fuentes Cruz (Published by Ryland Peters & Small)


Print Recipes
Your item has been added to the basket
This product is out of stock