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Prawn Pulao

Akum Raj Jamir
A scrumptious and flavorful prawn pulao with succulent and tender prawns that you’ll love to make it over to treat your loved ones. Perfectly cooked prawn pulao, extremely aromatic with each grain separate and fluffy makes it a very sophisticated dish. It's a perfect meal to add to any menu.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, International
Servings 4


  • Heavy bottom pot


For Marination:

  • 20-25 nos prawn
  • 1 teaspoon red chilly powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon biryani masala or garam masala powder
  • salt to taste

Other Ingredients:

  • 1½ cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 nos bay leaf
  • 2 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 nos green cardamom
  • 4 nos cloves
  • 1 small piece star anise (optional)
  • 2 nos onion sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2 nos green chilly slit
  • salt to taste
  • few mint leaves (optional)
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)optional (can use butter)
  • few fried onions for serving (optional but recommended)
  • 2½ cups water


Soaking The Rice:

  • Wash the basmati rice for 2-3 times. Soak the rice in water. This process will make sure the rice is fluffy and cook evenly. Make sure to emerge the rice nicely in water. Keep aside while you make the other preparations.

Marinating The Prawns:

  • In a mixing bowl add in the prawns. Add in the chilly powder, turmeric powder, biryani or garam masala, salt as per taste. Mix well everything and keep aside

Making The Pulao:

  • Heat oil in a pan or pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add in the whole spices - bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, star anise, cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • Add in sliced onion and ginger garlic paste. Saute until the onions are slightly browned.
  • Add in chopped tomatoes, slit green chillies and season with salt. Saute until tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  • Add in the marinated prawns and mix everything well. Cook the prawns on medium heat for about 5 minutes. 
  • Drain the water from the soaked rice. Add in the rice, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Give a gentle quick mix.
  • Add in the water, ghee, season with salt, and give a gentle quick stir. 
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook the rice on low-medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked well. It will take approximately 20 minutes for the rice to cook perfectly.
  • Turn off the heat and garnish with fried onions and chopped coriander leaves. Allow the pulao to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid of the pan and gently fluff the prawn pulao using a fork. Serve hot.



  1. Use the correct ratio of water to rice to get the perfect texture of the pulao.
  2. If the pulao looks uncooked, you can sprinkle some water over it and simmer it for few more minutes before turning off the heat.
  3. Use peeled, cleaned and deveined prawns.
  4. For best result marinate the prawns  for few minutes.
  5. Adjust the spiciness of the pulao as per your heat preference.
  6. Use preferably heavy bottom pot or pan
  7. Serve with fried onions, it really takes the pulao to another level in regard to taste. You can use can easily make at home. Just slice the onion thinly as possible and fry in the oil until golden.
  8. Use both oil and ghee. But if you don’t want to use ghee, use oil alone in place of ghee.
  9. You can use a pinch of saffron. Soak the saffron in 2-3 tbsps of milk and and pour them over the pulao once it is done. It imparts a rich flavour and aroma.
Keyword one pot meal, prawn pilav, pulao, rice pilaf, shrimp pulao