Prawn Pilaf is an aromatic rice dish with prawns, peas and a warming spice. Think of pilaf like a low maintenance risotto packed with flavour.
Just like my No Mayo Tuna Salad or Tomato Pasta Sauce, this Prawn Pilaf is a bit of a pantry staple dish for me. I can guarantee that I have almost all of these ingredients in my kitchen at any one moment, and if I don’t then it is so easy to customise.
Prawn and Cardamom Rice
This is one of my favourite quick and easy comfort food dishes. The cardamom adds a lovely warming flavour (as well as plenty of health benefits!) And the Crème fraîche just brings everything together so well to make a comforting, creamy dish.
What is Pilaf?
Originating in Persia, pilaf (or pilau) is a rice or grain dish cooked in stock or broth, usually with onion, garlic and aromatic spices. The rice or grains are toasted before the stock is added and the dish is cooked covered, either in the oven or on the hob.
You can think of pilaf almost like a low maintenance risotto – most of the cooking is done in the oven and there’s no heavy stirring work involved. This prawn pilaf uses rice but there are plenty of pilau recipes using other grains like bulgur or even orzo.
One Pot Prawn Pilaf
Since the rice is baked in the oven before you quickly cook the peas and prawns, this is a great recipe for when you have a huge to-do list in the evening or just need some time to chill before dinner. You can stick it in the oven and forget about it for 20 minutes while you hang the washing up or pour yourself a glass of wine.
The prawn pilaf is cooked in one pot too – always good to save on the washing up!
- Prawns or Shrimp – I use cold water prawns, usually cooked and frozen. You can use raw prawns – just make sure they are fully pink and cooked though before serving.
- Peas – I always have a stash of frozen peas – they are so easy as you can stir them into this pilaf straight from frozen.
- Basmati Rice – I personally do not feel the need to rinse or soak basmati rice before cooking, but you can if you prefer. My rice of choice is always Tilda Basmati but the Lidl Deluxe version is a very close second.
- Cardamom Pods
- Chicken Stock – or vegetable stock.
- Creme Fraiche
Serving Suggestions and Variations
Serve with a crisp green salad and some herby buttered flatbread or naan.
Add chopped boiled eggs for extra protein or instead of the prawns.
Swap the prawns for cooked chicken.
Stir in some spinach for extra greens.
Make this a vegetarian pilaf by using vegetable stock and swapping the prawns for chopped boiled eggs.
More prawn dishes you will love:
- Chilli Prawn Linguine
- Prawn Jalfrezi
- Prawn Cocktail with Homemade Cocktail Sauce
- Smoked Salmon and Prawn Linguine
Prawn Pilaf with Peas and Cardamom
- 400 grams peeled cooked prawns or shrimp I use frozen coldwater prawns – see notes for defrosting
- 200 grams frozen peas
- 275 grams basmati rice
- 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 10 green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 600 ml chicken stock or broth or vegetable stock
- 200 grams light crème fraîche or greek yoghurt
- salt & pepper
- 4 tbsp chopped coriander or dill
- Preheat your oven to 200°c/180°c fan / gas mark 6/400°f
- Season the prawns with a little salt & pepper and leave in the fridge while you prepare the rice.
- Warm an oven safe casserole dish on the hob over a medium-high heat and melt the butter.
- Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft but not browned – about 5 minutes.
- Use the handle of a knife to gently crack the cardamom pods and add them with the garlic to the pan, stir and cook for about 2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the rice and turmeric and stir well for 1-2 minutes, allowing the rice to toast lightly and get coated in the butter and spices. Pour over the stock and bring it to the boil without stirring.
- Pop on the lid, wait for about a minute to allow some steam to build up, then put the pot in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
- Once your rice has cooked (it should have soaked up the liquid without being dry and be al-dente to bite but not chewy) pick out the cardamom pods from the rice – they should have risen to the top to make it nice and easy for you.
- Stir the prawns, peas and add the pot back into the oven for 5 minutes to allow the peas and prawns to warm through. (If using raw prawns make sure they are fully cooked and pink – you may need a few extra minutes.)
- To serve, stir the crème fraîche into the rice. Add salt & pepper to taste and garnish with the chopped herbs.