Prawn pulao (Shrimp pulao)

Updated: August 26, 2022, By Swasthi

Prawn pulao recipePulao is a basic rice dish made often in most Indian homes for their meal. The basic pulao is a one pot dish in which the spices are tempered first and then the veggies & rice are cooked together. However there are many kinds of fancy recipes that yield wonderful and aromatic pulao rice.

I have shared so many varieties of pulao on the blog. This prawn pulao recipe is adapted from the potato pulao I shared before. Prawn pulao can also be made in one pot. But most times the prawns get over cooked and turn hard or rubbery due to prolonged cooking. So I make this like the tawa pulao.

prawn pulao

This is one way I make at home which is quick and is more flavorful and delicious than the one pot prawn pulao.

I have used tiger prawns here. You can use even the small variety of prawns. We serve this with onion, carrot and cucumber slices and feel a raita doesn’t go well with this.

For more similar simple recipes, you may like to check this rice recipes.

Tips to make perfect shrimp pulao

  • This recipe needs precooked rice that is not mushy. You can cook the rice either in a cooker or in a pot. But ensure it is grainy and not sticky.
  • If using basmati rice, soak it well for atleast 30 mins and then cook it. This helps the rice to cook to long grains & fluffy grains.
  • Avoid overcooking the shrimps as they turn hard, chewy and rubbery. When you see they curl up to a C shape, stop cooking further.
  • I have used whole spices for tempering. You can just skip them if you do not have. But they do add a good aroma here.

For more prawn recipes, you can check
Prawn fry
Dum prawn biryani
Prawn curry
Crispy prawn pakora

Prawn pulao recipe

Prawn pulao (shrimp pulao)

5 from 31 votes
Simple prawn pulao recipe – made on tawa with basic ingredients. It can be served with onion, carrot and cucumber slices.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 cup rice
  • 200 grams prawns (any variety)
  • 1 onion medium , sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste or 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Handful mint leaves / pudina finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 green chili slit (skip for kids)
  • ½ to ¾ tsp Garam masala or biryani masala (adjust to suit your taste)
  • ½ to ¾ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp Red chili powder
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • Salt as needed
  • 2 to 3 tbsps coconut milk or 2 tbsp water (coconut milk adds taste and aroma)
  • Oil as needed
  • Lemon juice as desired (optional)

Whole spices or pulao spices

  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 4 to 6 cloves
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp Shahi jeera
  • 1 star flower / star anise
  • 1 strand mace



  • Wash and soak rice for about 30 mins.
  • Cook it in whatever way you like either in the pot, pressure cooker or electric cooker.
  • Cook rice till al dente. You can also add few drops of oil to the rice pot to keep the rice grainy. Rice should be grainy fully cooked but not mushy.
  • Devein and clean prawns. Rinse them well. You can also wash them in vinegar to remove the fishy smell. Drain them completely and set aside.
  • While the rice soaks and cooks, you can marinate prawns with ginger garlic paste, garam masala, coriander powder, red chili powder, salt and turmeric.

making prawn pulao

  • Heat a pan with oil and saute all the pulao spices until fragrant.
  • Add onions and saute until golden and cooked well. Transfer the prawns and saute for 2 to 3 mins or until the raw smell from the ginger garlic goes away. Add mint and saute for 2 mins.
  • Cover and cook on a low heat until the prawns are completely cooked. Add the coconut milk or water and allow to thicken. You must be left with a thick curry like prawn mixture. At this stage if the prawn are swirled it means they are cooked completely. If not sprinkle little water and cook further. Overcooking makes them hard. So be sure not to overcook.
  • Add cooked and cooled rice along with lemon juice. Mix well and serve prawn pulao hot with fresh onion, cucumber wedges and papad.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Prawn pulao (shrimp pulao)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 520 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 252mg84%
Sodium 870mg38%
Potassium 333mg10%
Carbohydrates 85g28%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 185IU4%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 205mg21%
Iron 4.2mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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prawn pulao recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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I cooked it yesterday after making Biryani masala as per your recipe. It turned out to be absolutely smashing. Depth of aromas was amazing and coconut milk added lovely richness and smokiness. Many thanks, keep it up!

I was waiting for step by step receipe…

5 stars
U have not added the bay leaf, cardamons etc. in yr recipe

5 stars
Thanks very tasty