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Prawn Pulao Recipe

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Shrimp pulao or prawn is perfect for weekday meals when you want some quick, easy, and wholesome. The rice cooks in 20 minutes and can be served on its own with a side of salad or raita.

Pulao in a platter.
Pulao with Prawns or Shrimp

Growing up shrimps and prawns were not cheap so prawn pulao and prawn cutlets were a luxury. Mom would often make these on weekdays for lunch after school. She’d serve some sliced cucumber, pickle, and papad on the side.

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Prawns– you can use fresh or frozen prawns or shrimp for this recipe. It is best to remove the shells along with the tails and devein them so it is easier to eat.
  • Rice – I always use basmati rice for pilafs’, pulaos’ and biryanis’ but in this recipe, Colum rice or Jasmine rice will work just as well. Make sure to check the quantity of water to rice on the packaging directions.
  • Spices – I use a light flavor of warm whole garam masala spices but you can also use half a teaspoon of garam masala. I don’t use any masalas but if you like to spice it up add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/4 tsp of cumin powder as well.
  • Stock/broth – you can use water instead of stock. I usually prefer vegetable bullion powder in my rice recipes.
A plate with prawn pulao.
Pulao with Prawns or Shrimp

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A plate with shrimp pulao.

Shrimp Prawn Pulao Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 316kcal
Adjust Servings Here: 8 servings
Shrimp pulao or prawn is perfect for weekday meals when you want some quick, easy, and wholesome. The rice cooks in 20 minutes and can be served on its own with a side of salad or raita.

Equipment /Tools

  • Suate pan
  • Spatula
  • Cutting Board
  • Kitchen Knife
  • Bowl


  • 2 cup (370 g) Rice
  • 1 lbs (450 g) Prawns
  • ½ tsp Chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 2 tbsp Ghee or oil
  • 2 tsp Cumin seeds jeera
  • 2 inch Cinnamon stick Dalchini
  • 4 Cardamoms
  • 8 Cloves
  • 1 cup Onion finely chopped
  • 4 large Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 inch Fresh ginger grated
  • 2 Green chilies (optional)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 3 1/2 cup (800 ml) Stock or broth chicken or vegetable
  • 1/4 cup Coriander leaves


  • Rice – In a large bowl wash the rice under clean running water a few times until the water looks clean without any dirt. Add more water and leave the rice to soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
    Pro tip – if you use prewashed rice you can omit this step. Soaking the rice cooks it evenly and makes it light and fluffy not sticky
    2 cup Rice
  • Prawns – Add 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of ghee. Add the prawns and season with salt, pepper, a pinch of chilly powder. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until they turn pink. Remove from the pan and set aside.
    Pro tip – searing the prawns ahead will prevent them from becoming dry and chewy in the rice.
    1 lbs Prawns, ½ tsp Chilli powder
  • Saute – In the same pan over medium heat add the remaining oil and ghee. Add the whole spices and saute for 30 seconds.
    1 tbsp Oil, 2 tbsp Ghee, 2 tsp Cumin seeds, 2 inch Cinnamon stick, 4 Cardamoms, 8 Cloves
  • Veggies – Then add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent. Then add the turmeric powder and saute for another 30 seconds.
    Pro tip – keep the heat to medium or low so you don't caramelize the onions and garlic.
    1 cup Onion, 4 large Garlic cloves, 1 inch Fresh ginger, 2 Green chilies, ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
  • Toast rice – next add the drained rice and saute for 2 minutes on medium-low. Season with salt and pepper.
    1 tsp Salt, 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • Liquid – Add the stock/broth, prawns/shrimp, and combine cilantro. Combine well and bring to a boil.
    3 1/2 cup Stock or broth, 1/4 cup Coriander leaves
  • Simmer – As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes. After 10 minutes leave the rice covered for another 10 minutes.
    Pro tip – do not skip the 10 minutes of resting time. This will help absorb excess moisture making sure the rice is not sticky.
  • Fluff – after 10 mins fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with more fresh cilantro.

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Nutrition Information
Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 768mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 465IU | Vitamin C: 7.2mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1.4mg

The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear how it was.Mention @veenaazmanov or tag me on Instagram #veenaazmanov

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