Shrimp Pulav (Shrimp Pilaf) with Sunshine and Smile

Kankana, from Sunshine and Smile, is here today to share a delicious Indian recipe with us! When I’m lacking inspiration and need a bit of Indian food guidance, I go to Sunshine and Smile for support. Paired with lovely, well written stories about her experiences in India, Kankana shares some beautifully composed, well rounded recipes that are sure to please anyone.

Thank you Leanne for the invite and it’s a pleasure to be a part of your beautiful space. I am sure she needs no introduction and just like many of you, I too am a fan of this gorgeous yogi whose healthy and nutritional talk always inspires me. I know very little about gluten free food but I knew that Leanne loves spices and Indian cuisine. So, I thought why not share with her and you something that is hearty, flavorful and quick.

Here I have for you a one-pot rice meal made with shrimp, which can always be replaced with vegetables or ground meat.

Even in the days when my life was less about food and more about meetings or projects, dinner was always an important part of the day. Eating out was always an option but enjoying a comforting warm meal at the end of an active day was relaxing. Even though I was not a big foodie, cooking had always been a fun hobby for me; it was like a stress buster that helped me empty my mind and get ready for the next day.

I was not very creative with cooking but I knew how to flavor a dish with spices. My most common meal for weeknights was Pulav or Pilaf. Flavored rice works as a great vehicle for any vegetable, meat or fish. Although brown rice would also work great, it’s always best to use long grain basmati white rice and cook with whole spices for the best aroma.

My husband is not a picky eater but when it comes to seafood, he will eat only certain types of seafood and it has to be prepared in certain ways. Hence, I used cooked shrimp cause that’s what he mostly prefers. It can definitely be replaced with fresh shrimp or prawn.

While cooking with shrimp, be careful not to overcook it or else, it tastes chewy and rough. I sautéed the shrimp separately with spices, cooked the rice separately and just when rice was almost done, I mixed the shrimp with it very lightly. Then, I covered it and let it rest for about 15 minutes for the rice to get cooked completely.

The ingredient list and the direction list might make it sound like a lengthy task but trust me, it’s not. I also feel that such dishes taste more flavorful the next day. So make a lot and enjoy some leftovers the next day or make it in advance for those lazy weekend nights.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Shrimp Pulav (Shrimp Pilaf) with Sunshine and Smile
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Recipe type: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Nut-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A one-pot rice meal made with shrimp, rice and a whole lot of delicious Indian spice.
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cup white basmati rice, long grained
  • couple handful of shrimp, cleaned with head and tail removed
  • 2 medium size potatoes, sliced lengthwise about 1.5 cm thick
  • 1 medium size tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • couple cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-inch ginger, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 3 cups of water
List of spices
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 to 3 tej pataa (dried bay leaves)
  • 2 to 3 green cardamom, smashed lightly so that the seeds and pods separate
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Put the clean shrimp in a mixing bowl, season with some salt, add 1 teaspoon garam masala powder and let it marinate for about 15 minutes.
  2. Wash the rice and soak it in water for about 15 minutes.
  3. Use a deep saucepan that has a tight fitting lid and heat 1 teaspoon ghee in medium heat.
  4. Add cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom and bay leaves. Let it infuse the ghee for about a minute.
  5. Now, add the marinated shrimp to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  6. Take it out from the pan and keep it aside to be used later.
  7. In the same pan, pour 1 more teaspoon of ghee and add ginger, garlic and sauté them.
  8. After about a minute, add the onions and cook until they’re golden brown in color.
  9. Then, add the potatoes, season with salt and cook for about 2 minutes.
  10. Add the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon garam masala powder, chili powder and sauté for about 2 more minutes.
  11. Drain the rice, add it to the pan and give it a stir.
  12. Season it with salt, add the chopped mint and sauté for couple more minutes.
  13. Next, add water, give it a mix and bring the heat to high. Once the water starts boiling, bring the heat down to medium and let it simmer until the water is almost absorbed. This should take about 15 minutes.
  14. Add the sautéed shrimp to the pan, lightly mix it with the rice, stop the heat and cover the pan with the lid.
  15. After about 10 minutes, fluff the rice using a fork.
  16. Add chopped cilantro and serve it warm with some cold yogurt or salad on the side.
    Notes
    Dried nuts like cashew or almonds would works as a great garnish on this simple meal. You can make this in advance, and re-heat it in the microwave for couple of seconds before serving. Ghee is made from dairy, but all lactose and casein is removed in the clarification process. Use your personal judgement when opting for a dairy-free diet. If you’ve chosen to omit, use replacements such as coconut oil, or vegan butter. To make a vegetarian version of the pulav, you can add vegetables like cauliflowers, carrots, broccoli, paneer (Indian Cottage cheese), or peas. Basically any vegetables that would give a slight crunchy bite in every spoonful of the flavored rice are fair game!

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    Comments | Leave Your Comment

    1. As a vegetarian I’m not sure how I could modify the recipe other than just leave the shrimp out (and I’m sure it would be delicious!). But, I did want to stop and say that I thought these photographs are gorgeous!

      • Isn’t her photography amazing? Kanakana’s entire blog is like this. It’s amazing. I bet you could do a veggie pulav with loads of assorted veg! Have a great day, Erica ;)

    2. It looks very delicious! However for the environment be sure not to use tiger prawns. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw0tkYK7oEM

      To keep the shrimp fresh, juicy and bacteria free, they are pumped full of antibiotics and then soaked in posioness chemicals. Big companies flatten large areas of precious mangrove forests to build damms for prawn farming. They use diesel pumps to provide the prawns with fresh water whilst the environment is completely destroyed. The big companies then move their farms to a new site and they start all over again.So, what’s left is a broken eco system. Some say it does not matter if the are organic.

      • Hmm I read this and thought… we should have Indian food tonight! Ya?

    3. I came over from Kankana’s site. Nice to meet you Leanne! I was afraid of lacking some ingredients but I was surprised that I have everything but ghee. I have some basmati rice left in the pantry and this sounds like a delicious recipe to give it a try! Great guest post Kankana! Good luck with your move Leanne! :)

      • Nice to meet you, Nami! What a pleasant surprise that you have everything to make this! You could use coconut oil, butter, or olive oil in place of the ghee, no problem. You’ll get a slightly different taste if you use olive oil, but I bet it’d still be delicious! Enjoy :)

    4. Hi Leanne… I made this Pulav the other day… It was wonderful… My family loved this one! Delicious one pot meal..

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