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Prawn Pulao / www.quichentell.com

Prawn Pulao

Quiche 'n' Tell
Fresh prawns and Basmati rice cooked together with a coconut and spice paste.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Soaking time for rice 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian


  • 500 g Basmati rice
  • 800 g medium-large prawns, shelled, de-veined and washed
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 20-30 curry leaves
  • 150 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt, whisked
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 1-inch pieces cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 5-6 green cardamoms
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt

For the masala paste

  • 5 tbsp fresh coconut, grated
  • 6 dried red chillies
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 star anise
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled


  • Was the rice and soak covered in water for 20 minutes. Then drain the rice completely.
  • Sprinkle a little salt (no more than 1/4 tsp) and turmeric on the prawns, mix and set aside.
  • Grind the coconut and all the other masala ingredients to a thick, smooth paste in using a little water.
  • Take a large, flat, thick-bottomed pan (so that things don't stick and burn), heat 2 tbsp ghee on medium flame and fry half the curry leaves and all the onions till slightly golden.
  • Add the coconut masala and saute of low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Then tip in the prawns and mix to coat the prawns with masala.
  • Cook for 4-5 min and add the yoghurt and cook for a further minute. Then remove the prawns and set aside.
  • Now add the remaining tbsp of ghee on a low flame and add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin and peppercorns. Let them fry for a few seconds and add the rice.
  • Saute the rice for about 7 minutes till the grains are nice an toasty.
  • Add the remaining curry leaves and prawns and mix with the rice and spread to create and even layer.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and just enough water to cover the rice and prawn mixture. Season with salt and gently swirl to mix it in.
  • Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook on a low-medium flame (without opening) for 20 minutes. Then, switch off the stove, move the pan to a cooler surface and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Open the lid after 15 minutes, gently fluff the rice with a fork and serve the pulao hot.
Keyword coconut, prawns, rice