Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chingri Macher Polao -- Prawn Pulao


The inspiration of this Prawn Pulao came from Mishmash's CheMmeen Biryani. I call it "CheenMeen" which sounds so lyrical that it is hard to get it out of my head. It is like raindrops but better.
However I will stick to Prawn Pulao or better Chingri Maacher Polao because the recipe is quiet different from her Biryani and you would better check out her page for the Biryani.

Also if I said "CheenMeen Pulao" I would keep it in a memory box and never eat it ever.

But this is such a delicious thing that you have to eat. Simply have to. Even if you are on a diet or something.


Instead of a Biryani I make it a One Pot Pulao.Okay actually two because I used a separate Fry pan to fry the rice. But that is all right. You can eat straight from the pan if you wish to and that way skip two plates. You decide on the logistics while I get on with the recipe because this post has way too many pictures that speaks thousand words.

The Biryani spice powder is what weaves a magic in this Pulao. I have made the Biryani Powder like Mishmash's this time. However you can use the biryani powder one I have here and also add a bit of star anise to intensify the flavor. The spice Powder I added in two steps, once to the gravy and then to the rice. I have also used ghee(and oil) moderately. If you are feeling luxurious add one more tablespoon of ghee but no need to go overboard with it.

Last but not the least is the quality of rice used. Remember I used to crib about my rice grains breaking in a Pulao. Well those days are gone with the current brand of Rice I have. No one is paying me for this but Lal Qila Basmati truly works very very well in a Pulao or Biryani. Has got to do something with being aged and good quality or something. So if you have the problem of your rice turning to mush or breaking do get a good brand Basmati.



Prawn Pulao -- Chingri Maacher Polao

The Prep

Make a  dry spice powder
1/2 tsp Fennel
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp ShaJeera
4 cloves
4 green cardamom
2" thin stick cinnamom
1 tbsp Javetri/Mace
a little Nutmeg
We will add this spice powder in two steps to the Pulao. We will also sprinkle a pinch of it on the fried shrimp

25 medium sized prawn -- marinate with salt and turmeric and a 1/4 tsp of that spice powder

Wash and soak 1&1/4 cups of rice in water

Step 1


Heat 1 tbsp Oil. Saute the shrimp till they turn pink-yellow. Remove and keep aside.


That oil now has a beautiful flavor, add 1 more tbsp ghee to same pot. Wait for it to heat up. temper the ghee/oil with
2 Bay Leaf
1 Big Brown Cardamom


In 30-60 sec add
2 cups of thinly sliced onions.
Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of sugar and fry the onions till soft and golden. About 4-5 minutes


Next add
2 tsp of Ginger-Garlic Paste. Ideally you should make paste of ginger-garlic--green chili. I skipped the chili. Please add 3-4 green chili ground to paste if you wish.
Fry for a minute


Add 1 tomato chopped. Sprinkle some salt and cover and let the tomato cook. This will take 4-5 minutes at end of which the tomato will be totally disintegrated.


Next goes in
half of the dry spice powder
1/2 tsp Kashmiri Mirch
1 tsp of dried mint/ 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp chopped corriander
Saute for couple of minutes


Add 1 cup of coconut milk thinned with water. Let the gravy come to a boil. At this point add salt to taste and the fried shrimp. Let the gravy thicken.

Once the gravy is thick, remove the shrimp and keep aside. Shrimp becomes rubbery when cooked too much so we will add it back to Pulao at the last step.

Step 2


Mean while in a separate fry pan heat 1 tbsp Ghee. Temper the ghee with few cloves(4) and green cardamom. Drain the rice and add it to the fry pan. Fry the rice at low heat till all the grains of rice are nicely coated with ghee.This will take about 3 minutes.

Step 3


Add the fried raw rice to the gravy in Step 1. Add the remaining spice powder. Mix gently. Now add water (1.5:1 ratio of water to rice), cover and let the rice cook. When adding water, be careful because the gravy already has some water so adjust and extra water accordingly.

Once the rice is almost done, add the shrimp(that you had removed and kept aside) along with any gravy it has. Add 1/2 tbsp of ghee. Let the rice finish cooking. Taste a little. If needed add more salt. Also add 1/4 tsp sugar. Once done fluff with a fork.



  1. When i saw the pic in FB and thise huge prawns I was drooling itself, I love Mishmash recipes too and this pulao looks absloutley super super DELICIOUS.

  2. Slurp, picture itself speaks a lot,irresistible pulao.

  3. I look forward to your recipes most of the time especially when i run out of ideas( which is the case most of the time),today i was planning to make a 1 pot meal and bingo here it comes...was this telepathy ?? ha ha ha..thanks for the amazing chingdi macher recipe..

  4. My mom does an excellent shrimp biryani, the key is shrimp should not go rubbery... That is what we do fish out and add once the water is evaporated. Probably the masala is very different here, she doesn't add many spices like this one. The picture is simply luxurious and u make me crave for:)

  5. Who says no to shrimp pulao? The one that looks so very good certainly not.

  6. Darun....
    I love Chingri in any form. will try this...


  7. Very nice! I'm making a few one-pot meals these days and overloading them with the veggies because we get to eat less rice that way!

  8. A beautiful looking preparation...

  9. This is really good. I have to make it! Could you please suggest something as a side dish with this? I could do raita, but other than that, anything? Thanks for the recipe.

  10. I love this recipe, and the pictures look super delicious. Bookmarked :)

  11. the pulao look lovely and nothing wrong with recommending a brand you believe in. I do so too and of course unpaid...sharing the food love...ekhane prawn pulao is quite popular in malvani restaurants but eto jhorjhore noi

  12. I have made Mishmash's chinmeen Pulao way back may be some two or three years ago and we really liked it..thats a lovely recipe and pictures are droolworthy..hugs and smiles

  13. বাংলা মজাদার কমিকস এর জন্য আসুন আমাদের ব্লগ এ http://bongcomic.blogspot.com/

  14. This is such an amazing recipe - definitely a must try. the colours of the biryani and the prawns are gorgeous!


  15. BTW, Its Chemmeen and not CheenMeen....

  16. i love the idea to speak through photo.love your recipe.interesting use of spice..

  17. Made this for SIL who loves prawns and was much enjoyed by the whole family!! :-)

  18. Hi Sandeepa,

    Wish you and family a very happy new year.

    Your recipes, posts, stories, have always been enjoyable and inspiring for many of us.

    This weekend, on a cold night, made a prawn pulao.....can't say completely following yours or any other recipe, but can surely say inspired by your recipe. It was wonderful, and of course, I can happily call it as a new found soul food.

    Thank you for this wonderful new year gift.


  19. Hey, those pics are torturous nice. *sigh*
    I need some help. I've posted a similar request in PreeOccupied and hope that one of you will help me.

    My dad and I recently decided to eschew the wok and the open flames for the efficiency and healthiness of the microwave. Unfortunately, it seems I have to go on a cookbook buying binge since I can't seem to find a blog dedicated to Bengali food recipes for the m-oven.

    Can you help direct me to a few such blogs, please? I'll be ever go grateful!

  20. I tried this receipe last weekend, and it turned out yummy!!!I'll definitely be making this again. Keep em coming :)

  21. My mom never fried the prawns , while frying onion , when the onions are half done she wud add the prawn ,and wud remove them just before adding the coconut milk. And add them again at the last when the rice is almost done . This way the prawns never turned rubbery.

    1. I guess I did the same only I fried the before the onion and took them out.
      You are right about them turning rubbery if we don't take them out and cook longer

  22. I just made this pulao.. and I haven't eaten a pulao better than this one.. just a suggestion you can also add star anise to enhance the flavours if u don't find nutmeg or javitri.. tastes the same.. excellent stuff..

  23. I just made this pulao.. and I haven't eaten a pulao better than this one.. just a suggestion you can also add star anise to enhance the flavours if u don't find nutmeg or javitri.. tastes the same.. excellent stuff..


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