One pot dishes ? Now that’s my kind of dish! Easy to make, easy to serve and easy to clean up. A busy mom’s best friend and ideal for weeknights! I rely on shrimp a lot when it comes to weeknight quick meals. My hand quickly reaches for that shrimp pack in the freezer when I have had a busy day and do not have too much time to think about what I should be making. Shrimp tastes great anyway you cook it so that’s another reason why it is so popular with me.
This one pot shrimp pulao has to be my most common one out of all my shrimp dishes. This dish holds a lot of memories for me. All of which are wonderful and transport me to nostalgia world. Growing up we had a Goan couple, Mr and Mrs F as our next door neighbor. This couple did not have any children but they were very loving and always loved to have us kids in their home. One of the beauties of city living is that apartments being so close to each other, wonderful aromas used to come out of different kitchens around meal times and lurk in the common veranda. There used to be quite a bit of food exchanges also happening between the different neighbors. Mr F loved to cook and we had grown to love a lot of his dishes. And this prawn pulao was one of them! The pulao Mr F made was so tasty and I still remember the aroma coming out from their kitchen when this was being cooked.
Those were the days…when everything seemed to be so slow paced – the long lazy afternoons where the kids would play outside – games with marbles,gulli danda and the likes. And the moms chatted standing near their own doorsteps for hours …when neighbors meant more than family and exchange of food and recipes happened. No youtube video demos were there to search but actual demos in kitchens occurred over endless cups of tea and snacks…Oh those were the days…
This pulao recipe relies on only whole spices like cloves,cinnamon and black pepper for the flavors. And lot of butter. (I think mr F used Lard which really gave it extra flavor). I use a combination of olive oil and butter. This time I also added some herbs from my garden. I usually also add some vegetable like peas or green beans to make it a complete meal.
I am bringing this very tasty prawn pulao to Fiesta Friday this week.
- 1½ cups basmati rice
- ½ lb shrimp, about 16-20 medium,de-shelled and deveined,
- 2 tbsp olive oil (or combination of olive oil plus unsalted butter)
- 4-6 whole cloves
- 1 1 inch' long cinnamon stick
- 4-6 black peppercorns
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- about ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 -3 garlic cloves
- ½ inch piece of ginger
- 2 small tomatoes,chopped fine
- 1 tsp red chilli pow (use less for less spicy)
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ cup peas
- 2¼ cups water
- Wash the rice thoroughly in water draining the water. Keep washed rice aside.
- Clean the shrimp and keep aside.
- In a food processor, grind the mint,cilantro,garlic and ginger to a smooth paste with little water. Keep aside.
- Take a large flat bottomed cooking pot with a tight fitting lid. Place it on the stove and add the oil in it and heat. Add the cloves,cinnamon and peppercorns and stir for a few seconds on medium heat and then add the sliced onions. Cook the onions for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat stirring frequently.
- Then add the ground mint paste and stir for about 30 seconds. then add the chopped tomatoes too. Continue cooking on medium heat for about 2 -3 minutes until the tomatoes are softened. Add the red chili powder, turmeric and salt. And then add the shrimp to this mixture and stir well for a couple minutes till all the shrimp pieces get coated with the spice mixture.
- Add the rice and the peas and again stir well for about 2 minutes. Add the water and stir. Continue to heat until you see the water boiling. At that time lower heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until rice is cooked and hardly any water remains. Turn heat off and take pot off the stove but keep covered for about 5 minutes. Then open the lid and let the rice cool off a little bit and then fluff it slowly with a fork to get the grains separated.
Cooking rice can be tricky since different varieties of rice may have different cook times. Hence the 10-12 minutes I mention here is approximate. Check after 10 minutes. if rice is not cooked - if you still some pieces of raw rice and all water is gone then add a little bit of water and continue to cook more. Always cook rice on low heat in a pot with a tight fitting lid so that no steam escapes.