This is a home-style one pot dish. For this pulao it is important to use uncooked, deveined prawns, it can be fresh or frozen. If all the ingredients are ready, this dish can be ready in 25 minutes. The masala base is very simple and the spices are just the right amount to add aroma and flavour but not to overpower the dish. first, the prawns are marinated in a masala yoghurt mix and then tossed in with onion, tomatoes and rice. Then the right amount of boiling water is added till the rice is cooked to perfection. We continue steaming the rice in the residual heat and then later fluff it up with a fork. Done, delicious Prawn pulao is ready!
Feeds- 4 people
Prep time- 5 mins
Cook time- 25 mins
- Prawns- 350-400 grams (roughly 100 grams/person)
- Red onion- 1 big, sliced thinly
- Tomatoes- 2 big or 3 small, small cubes
- Green chili- 2 nos, chopped
- Ginger- 1 inch ginger, roughly chopped
- Curry leaves- 3-4 stems
- Cumin seeds- 2 tsp
- Red chili powder- 3 tsp (divided 2+1)
- Turmeric powder- 1 tsp (divided 1/2 +1/2)
- Coconut oil- 3 tbsp (you can use any vegetable oil or even ghee)
- Yoghurt- 1/2 cup, full fat and thick
- Cinnamon stick- 1 stick, 2 inches
- Green cardamom- 5-6 nos
- Basmati Rice- 3 cups, washed 3 times under cold water. (do not soak)
- Salt- 2-3 tsp
- Boiling water- 5 1/2 cups
Note– The amount of water is key here for a good pulao, too much water will make the rice sticky and gloopy. Normally when I cook Basmati rice in a pot, I double the amount of water as compared to the rice. But here, the prawns, yoghurt, tomatoes etc will also release water. So, i’ve reduced the water amount by 1/2 cup for this reason.
- Marinate the Prawns- In a big bowl add the yoghurt, cumin seeds, 2 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp salt. Mix it well and add the prawns to it. Very gently coat the prawns in the yoghurt mixture and set aside for 15-20 mins. This marination time is not compulsory, you can let it rest till the onions are fried and then use it straightaway.
- Place a medium sized stock pot or kadhai on medium-high flame. Add coconut oil and once it is warm, add the cinnamon, green cardamom and onions to the pan. Fry the onions till its translucent and then add the half the curry leaves, green chili and ginger to it. Mix for 30 seconds.
- Then add chopped tomatoes + remaining half of curry leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes or till it’s really soft and mushy. Now add the 1 tsp red chili powder and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder with 1-2 tsp salt. Mix well and once you see the oil coming out to the sides, add the rice and prawns to the pot. Mix gently and let it be for 1 minute. This step will coat rice with oil and seal prawns to keep it juicy.
- Now add the measured boiling water and wait till it boils. Taste the water at this stage and check for seasoning. It should taste salty-almost like sea water. Once, you see the boil, reduce heat to minimum and cook covered for 18 minutes. Time it!
5. Switch Off the heat at 18 minutes but DO NOT open the lid. Let it steam for another 5 minutes (time it) and then use a fork and fluff the rice. Its ready to serve now. If you feel the bottom is wet, use a spatula and mix the rice gently and keep the pot open, it will dry out.
This pulao is very tasty and is convenient to cook during weekdays. You can serve it with mint chutney and cucumber raita. Enjoy!