Goan prawn pulao is one of those classic Goan seafood dishes where a few simple spices bring out the flavours of fresh prawns.
There’s no dish more nostalgia filled than this, ask a Goan kid and they’ll vouch for it! Every Goan home has their own version and if you ask me, they are all authentic in their own way. I know its going to sound like a cliche but my mum makes one of the best ones EVER! And my recipe is greatly inspired by hers.
There’s a few ways to make this Goan Prawn Pula, a very humble dish, truly extra-ordinary. Fluffy and perfectly elongated basmati rice is a must! For that, always soak your rice for a minimum of 30 minutes. If you can (and I highly recommend it), make a simple prawn stock using all the prawn shells and heads so you can use it in place of water to cook the rice. It takes this prawn goodness to a whole new level.
Don’t overdo the spices or the chilli because you want the flavour of the prawn to really shine through. The ghee is non-negotiable. Make sure to nicely fry the vegetables (all cut small and uniformly) in it. Once you add the prawns, the soaked/drained rice and lemon juice need to go in quickly as you don’t want to overcook the prawns. Soaking the rice helps reduce cook time so that’s important to get the perfect result.
I have cooked and eaten this dish a thousand times in my lifetime and I can assure you there’s few dishes in the world that will hit the spot for comfort food like this one!
Goan Prawn Pulao
- 1 cup Basmati Rice
- 1 cup Prawns deshelled and deveined
- 1/4 cup Carrots finely diced
- 1/4 cup Green Peas frozen or fresh
- 1/4 cup Green Beans finely sliced
- 1/2 cup Onion finely chopped
- 1 Green Chilli chopped
- 1/2 tsp Ginger chopped
- 1/2 tsp Garlic chopped
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 1/4 tsp Caraway seeds (shahjeera)
- 2 Green Cardamom Pods whole
- 1/2 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 3 Cloves whole
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 4 Black Peppercorns whole
- Salt to taste
- 1.5 cups Hot water or Vegetable/Chicken/Prawn stock
- Wash your basmati rice until the water runs clear. Soak the rice for atleast 30 minutes.
- In a mortar pestle, roughly pound together the ginger, garlic and green chilli. Add this paste to the prawns and marinate along with salt, chilli and turmeric powder.
- In a hot pan, add ghee and all the whole spices (caraway seeds, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns) and let them lightly sizzle on medium heat.
- Add the finely chopped onion and fry until only translucent. Add in the carrots, peas and beans and fry until nicely coated in ghee and only just start to change colour.
- Add the marinated prawns and the drained soaked basmati rice. Add the lemon juice and salt to season. Fry the rice until there's no longer any liquid and the rice grains feel dry and separate.
- Add boiling hot water, mix through and cover to cook until all the water has dried up and the rice looks done. Keep it covered for atleast 15-20 minutes.
- After resting, uncover and use a fork to separate the grains. Serve with yogurt or a simple crunchy salad if you like.