Shrimp and Zucchini rice (Pulao-Paella fusion)

Shrimp and Zucchini riceFusion or confusion? ha ha Not sure. But it was a weeknight. Kids were hungry and I wanted to make them something quick. I got the shrimp out to defrost and soaked basmati rice having planned to make my favorite go-to ‘easy shrimp pulao‘.  But as I started chopping the onions, I realized I had run out of fresh tomatoes.  But I did have pasta sauce 🙂 Since the pasta sauce I had already had italian seasonings in it, the usual Indian spices – garam masala wouldn’t go well with it. Hence I decided to make a ‘paella’ inspired pulao which had Basmati rice which is what is used traditionally in the Indian pulao. And then for spices I  added some turmeric and cayenne (for the indian) and oregano, rosemary for the mediterranean 🙂 And saffron. Interestingly, both pulao and paella use saffron! I also had some great zucchini from our local farm and so I decided to add that too.

Shrimp and Zucchini Paella-PulaoI had been meaning to make Paella one of these days – after all the pan I had bought a couple years ago, when my friend Angela taught me how to make Paella, was lying idle. Anyways, I was happy that the pan provided inspiration for this dish! Easy, flavorful, happy dinner.!  Paella or Pulao, it was just Perfect 🙂

Bringing this easy and tasty fusion dish to Fiesta Friday this week where your co-hosts this week are Julianna @ Foodie on Board and Zeba @ Food For The Soul

Shrimp and Zucchini rice (Pulao-Paella fusion)

  • Servings: Makes about 2-3 servings
  • Time: about 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked for 15 minutes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup of diced zucchini
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3-4 strands of saffron
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce (pasta sauce)
  • 10-12 shrimp, medium size, deskilled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 cups of water


Wash and soak the basmati rice in water for 15 minutes. Drain the water using a sieve and keep the rice aside.

Take a large flat bottoms cooking pot with a tight fitting lid and place on heat. Add the oil and when hot, add the onions and the garlic. Salute for 2-3 minutes and then add the spices and salt. Next add the zucchini and stir for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the saffron, the marinara sauce and the shrimp. Stir for a minute. Add the soaked rice and stir. Add the 1/1/2 cups of water and stir everything well and check for seasoning.

Let the water come to a boil and then immediately lower the heat to a simmer and cover with the lid and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until all water is gone and the rice is cooked all the way through.  Keep covered and transfer the pot to a cooler spot. But let it remain covered for atleast for another 10 minutes. Open and stir the rice to separate the grains. Serve warm.

Shrimp Pulao Paella style






Share this post!
Follow by Email

0 thoughts on “Shrimp and Zucchini rice (Pulao-Paella fusion)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *