Shrimp Pulav (Pilaf)

Photo taken from Sunshine and Smile
I found this recipe a while ago on Pinterest and was hooked on Kankana's website! The link is in the caption of the photo. I did not take my own photo for this recipe because I was a)too hungry and b)the food did not last long enough :) This recipe is so simple and uses very few ingredients but packs a powerful punch of flavor.

I was missing a few ingredients but that never stopped me in the past :) I could not believe how quickly this recipe came together and how little I needed to tend to it. The shrimp was plump and juicy; the rice was cooked perfectly, and the lime really brought out the flavors.  If you are looking to impress your spouse or your guests,

you have come to the right place. Kankana does an excellent job with this recipe as she does every other recipe on her website.

Here is her recipe: (I am not altering it because I would really like to try out this recipe with all the ingredients she mentions and also I want to add it to my blog forever :)) I used instant brown rice, yellow onion, ginger garlic paste instead of garlic and ginger, and had no anise, so I didn't use it. Despite these changes, it turned out so great! Give it a try. You will not regret it!

  • 1-1/2 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
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 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
  • 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.
  • Wash the rice and soak it in water for about 15 minutes.
  • Use a deep saucepan that has a tight fitting lid and heat 1 teaspoon ghee in medium heat.
  • Add cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom and bay leaves. Let it infuse the ghee for about a minute.
  • Now, add the marinated shrimp to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  • Take it out from the pan and keep it aside to be used later.
  • In the same pan, pour 1 more teaspoon of ghee and add ginger, garlic and sauté them.
  • After about a minute, add the onions and cook until they’re golden brown in color.
  • Then, add the potatoes, season with salt and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon garam masala powder, chili powder and sauté for about 2 more minutes.
  • Drain the rice, add it to the pan and give it a stir.
  • Season it with salt, add the chopped mint and sauté for couple more minutes.
  • 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.
  • Add the sautéed shrimp to the pan, lightly mix it with the rice, stop the heat and cover the pan with the lid.
  • After about 10 minutes, fluff the rice using a fork.
  • Add chopped cilantro and serve it warm with some cold yogurt or salad on the side.
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.


  1. Yolanda! Me, my family, and some friends are coming to DC tomorrow-Thursday. How close are you to the DC area? I think we are staying in Arlington or something. Anyway, I wanted to see 1) how close you were to DC and 2) If there are any places we must eat (lunch or dinner) while we are there. If you have any suggestions, we would love to hear them! My email is Hope you guys are doing great!

    1. Kelly! That is so exciting! I sent you a long email to your email address with all the options you can choose from. We are doing well and would love to see you if you have a few minutes (or hours)!


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