Prawn Pulao Or Chingri Pulao: Most Bengali dishes are praised for their delicate flavours! This Prawn Pulao or Chingri Polao is one of them! So, add this Pulao to your feasting menu to make it extra special! It is one of those tempting dishes that looks, smells and tastes like that you have been working in the kitchen for long hours! But, in reality, it requires minimal active efforts, and it is easy to make with everyday ingredients.
Why Bengali Pulao is different from other Pulao recipes
Most of the time, people consider Pulao to be a weeknight one-pot meal. It is mostly served with Pickle, Curd, Papad or Raita. But, in Bengali cuisine, Pulao is not for week-night dinner or quick daily meals. On the contrary, Bengali style Pulao is a major attraction of a feasting menu.
The short-grain rice is used in most Bengali Pulao recipes, which is why the texture of most Bengali Pulao is sticky. However, sticky doesn’t mean gummy. That means the grains stick together more rather than being crumbly.
The ingredients for Prawn Pulao!
There is a lengthy list of ingredients, but nothing is exotic. You can find all the spices and ingredients in regular supermarkets.
Aromatic short-grain rice is often used to cook pulao. One of the markabAromatic short-grain rice is often used for cooking pulao. One of the markable short-grain rice that you get in West Bengal effortlessly is Gobindo Bhog! Kalijeera, Chinigura are the short-grain rice that we get here in Australia. But, you will get them only in a Bangladeshi shop. Jeerakasala, also called Wayanadan Kaima, is another Indian short-grain rice variety I often use for Pulao or Khichuri. But, if you don’t want to make a special trip to your Indian or Bangladeshi grocery shop, then you can use any non-starchy short-grain rice. Just make sure that you are buying the aged rice to avoid crumbly texture.
I prefer to use medium size prawns ( shrimps ) for Pulao. Instead of frozen cooked prawns. I buy deveined and descaled Banana prawns from our fish shop.
Flavours are always add in layers in Bengali Pulao recipes. Red onion, Ginger, Green chillies are the primary flavour base.
There is a subtle flavouring used for this Pulao. The secret of making flavourful Pulao is the right blend of strong, savoury, sweet, floral, lemony flavoured spices, like green cardamom, clove, bay leaves.
Good quality Ghee is a must to make a flavourful Pulao. So try to use a Gawa Ghee for the best result.
Nuts and raisins
Not mandatory but a little bit crunchy and sweet bites add extra deliciousness.
Serve the Prawn Pulao with
Here is the detailed recipe, hope you enjoy it!
Bengali Style Prawn Pulao
For Prawn marinade
- 350 gm Banana Prawn - or 15 pieces medium size prawn ~ peeled and deveined
- 2 tsp Ginger – Green chilli paste
- ½ tsp Red Chilli powder
- ¼ tsp Bengali Gorom moshla
- Salt to taste
For the rice
- 350 gm Short Grain Rice (Gobindo bhog or Kalijeera) - or 1½ cup
- 3 cups Boiling water
- 1½ tbsp Ginger and green chilli paste
- 1 large Red onion - or about 200 gm – sliced
- 10 gm Raisins - or 1 tbsp
- 10 gm Cashews - or 10 pieces
- 2 Bay leaves
- 3 Green cardamons
- 6 cm Cinnamon barks
- 8-10 strands Saffron
- 2 tbsp Milk - warm
- ⅛ tsp Nutmeg powder
- ½ tsp Sugar
- Salt to taste - I added 1 ½ tsp
- 3 tbsp Ghee
- ¼ cup White Oil
- 4-5 Green Chillies - slit
- Wash the rice a couple of times and then soak it in the water for at least half an hour. Then drain the rice on a sieve.
- Soak the saffron in warm milk for at least 15 mins.
- Put the ginger and green chillies into the blender, pour water and try to make a smooth paste.
- Take peeled, washed prawns in a shallow bowl add ginger-green chilli paste, red chilli powder, Gorom moshla powder and salt to taste. Mix everything well and let the prawns marinate for 15 minutes.
- Take the rice in a mixing bowl, add 1 tbsp of ghee, ginger-green chilli paste, nutmeg powder and salt to taste. Mix everything well, cover with a lid.
- Take a heavy-duty cooking pot with a lid, set the pot over medium heat and pour about 2 tbsp of oil.
- Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat to low, add 1tbsp spoon of ghee.
- Add cashews in the oil and fry over medium heat for a minute to develop a golden colour, then with a help of a slotted spoon remove from the oil.
- Next, add marinated prawns, fry for one or two minutes, then remove from the cooking pot.
- Add the remaining oil to the cooking pot.
- Then, add whole spices to the cooking pot, stir for a few seconds to release the aroma.
- Add sliced onion and fry till it developed golden brown colour. It will take 7-8 minutes. Remove a small portion of fried onion from the oil and spread it on a plate, we will use it for garnish.
- Then add the rice, over medium heat fry the rice for about 6-7 minutes.
- Pour boiling water into the rice. Increase the heat to high.
- When the liquid starts bubbling up, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid. Cook till the rice is almost half cooked.
- Then add fried cashews, raisins, fried prawns, sugar, remaining ghee, and give a quick mix.
- Then, add saffron milk, slit green chillies, fried onion and put the lid on.
- Place a Tawa or iron griddle on the stovetop, once it is hot, place the pot where you cooked the rice.
- Over medium-low heat continue dum-cooking for 10 -15 minutes. Then turn off the heat.
- Give 5 minutes of resting time and serve!