To be honest, this is a bit of a cheat from Claudia Roden. I first discovered her cooking 15 years ago and she is responsible for my gaining two stone in weight as I absolutely love her Middle Eastern recipes. This recipe (from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food) is one I have been cooking for years and I've added a light Indian side salad, which you can prepare either instead of or with rice, as it's a recipe I particularly enjoy at lunchtime. It's also brilliant for entertaining as there's virtually no preparation beyond shopping, and the cooking takes under five minutes.

Tiger prawns (4 per person)
1tbsp olive oil
1 medium red chilli, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic
Pinches of paprika, tumeric, ground ginger and cumin

For the salad

1 medium red chilli, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
Half a small mango
Seeds from half a fresh pomegranate
Juice of half a fresh lime
2tbsp fresh coriander leaves

For the salad, mix one chilli, the onion, mango and pomegranate seeds, and dress with some of the lime juice and 1tbsp chopped coriander.

Fry the garlic and the other chilli in very hot olive oil for a few seconds. Add the prawns, paprika, tumeric, ginger and cumin. Sprinkle the rest of the coriander leaves and lime juice over the prawns and serve with the salad and/or plain boiled rice.

'The Last Mughal' by William Dalrymple is published by Bloomsbury, £25