Prawns Pulao (Shrimp Pilaf)

Pulao or Pilaf is a rice dish commonly made in Indian home. It is a one pot dish where you cook spices, meat or veggies and rice together unlike Biryani which is multi layered. Also preparing Pulao is less time consuming than Biryani. There are many variations of pulao like Chicken, Mutton (Goat), Egg, Vegetable, Fish etc. to name a few. As I have already shared a Chicken Biryani recipe, I am sharing a pulao recipe with prawns, one of my favorites and my mother’s recipe. Easy to prepare and delicious to eat, I am sure you will love this recipe.


500 grams Prawns

500 grams Rice

2 tbsp ginger garlic paste

4 large onions sliced

7-8 peppercorns

7-8 cloves

½ inch cinnamon stick

3 bay leaves

3 medium tomatoes

¾ cup oil (for marinating, cooking rice and making

2 tsp cumin seeds

½ bunch coriander

2-3 tbsp red chilli powder (depending on need of spiciness)

½ tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp lemon juice


Mise en place:

Slice onions, chop tomatoes and coriander and slice the green chillies

Marinating the prawns:

Clean and devein prawns. Marinate the prawns with 1 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, 1tsp lemon juice, turmeric powder and salt. Refrigerate.

Cooking the rice:

In a pot 1.5 litres of water, add 1 bay leaf, salt, 2 tbsp oil and let the water boil. Once the water starts boiling add rice and cook the rice till its Al dente (tender but still firm to bite). Remove and rinse with cool water (so the rice stops cooking from heat within). Keep aside.


Take a pot and add the remaining oil. When the oil is hot add cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, once you start smelling the fragrance of the spices add cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds start to crackle add onions, ginger garlic paste and saute on high flame for 2-3 minutes, turn the heat down and cook the onions until they are fully done.

Add tomatoes and cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes and add the green chillies and the red chilli powder saute for a minute and add the marinated prawns and cook until prawns are half cooked (keep an eye or the prawns will be stiff and chewy if overcooked)


Once the prawns are half cooked add half  the amount of chopped coriander and rice in the gravy and mix and let it cook on low flame for 5 mins. Serve it on plate or pasta bowl and garnish with chopped coriander.


Usually you cook rice along with meat, as prawns cook faster i cooked the rice till its al dante and then mixed it with prawns (when they are half cooked). this will ensure that prawns and rice are perfectly cooked.


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