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Prawn Pulao

A simple & easy prawn pulao makes for a great lunch box option. Serve it with raitha to make a complete, satisfying weekday lunch!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Shireen Sequeira @ www.ruchikrandhap.com


To be marinated

  • 500 grams prawns about 30 tiger prawns, cleaned and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt to taste

For the rice:

  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cardamoms bruised
  • 1 " stick cassia bark or cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf optional
  • 1 big onion finely sliced
  • 2 medium-small tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1-2 medium-small green chillies slit (adjust to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger & garlic paste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons plain red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • juice of 1 medium lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander finely chopped plus extra for garnishing
  • 2 cups basmati or jeera rice jeerasala
  • 4 cups water or prawn stock freshly boiled * see notes
  • salt to taste
  • ghee and oil for frying


  • Marinate the cleaned and deveined prawns with the salt & turmeric powder for about 15-20 minutes. Wash the rice in 2-3 changes of water and soak for 15 minutes. Then drain in a colander till required.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the prawns lightly on both sides on a medium heat till golden. Remove and set aside
  • Heat ghee in a heavy based pan/wok and add the cloves, cardamoms, cassia bark or cinnamon stick and bay leaf one by one and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
  • Add the green chilli and fry it for a few seconds on a low heat. Next, add the sliced onions and fry them till translucent (pale)
  • Add the ginger & garlic paste and fry for half a minute or till the raw smell goes away. Toss in the chopped tomatoes and continue to fry for at least 4-5 minutes on a medium-high heat till the tomatoes are all mushy and the oil begins to separate (this step is important, don't leave the tomatoes half done). Add the 1/4 cup of chopped coriander as well
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the red chilli powder & cumin powder and mix well. Add the soaked & drained rice and mix it well.
  • Pour in the freshly boiled water or prawn stock, lime juice and salt to taste. Crumble in the stock cubes if you are using water instead of prawn stock. Check the taste and adjust the ingredients accordingly. If you are using jeera rice you can add an extra 1/4 cup of water. *see notes
  • Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and let it bubble for 1-2 minutes. Then reduce the heat to a sim, add the fried prawns, cover the pan with a well fitting lid. Place a weight on the lid and set the timer for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the pan undisturbed for a further 15 minutes (if you are using basmati rice) or 20-22 minutes (for jeera rice).
  • When the time is up, open the pan and fluff up the rice with a fork. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with raitha


If you do not wish to use prawn stock, you can use plain water and 2 bouillon (stock) cubes instead.