Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Food of India: A Journey for Food Lovers

The Food of India

By Priya Wickramasinghe

Published 2005

  • About


  • 200 g (1 cup) basmati rice
  • 300 g (10½ oz) small prawns (shrimp)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cm ( inch) cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 4 Indian bay leaves (cassia leaves)
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 cm (2 inch) piece of ginger, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric


    Wash the rice in a sieve under cold running water until the water from the rice runs clear. Drain. Peel and devein the prawns, then wash thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

    Heat the oil in a karhai or heavy-based frying pan over low heat and fry the onion, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and lemon grass until the onion is lightly browned. Stir in the garlic, ginger and turmeric. Add the prawns and stir until they turn pinkish. Add the rice and fry over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 500 ml (2 cups) boiling water and some salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover tightly with a lid and leave for 10 minutes. Lightly fluff up the rice before serving.