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king prawn and vegetable pilaf.

A really simple seafood recipe which is light, healthy and flavoursome. Above all, it's really easy to rustle up. There are lots of interpretations of the pilaf, ranging from Central Asian or Middle Eastern areas, namely Turkish to Persian. It's said that one of the best interpretations of a pilaf is found in the best Emiriti restaurants of Dubai, where saffron, turmeric, cinnamon, thyme and cardamom season the likes of machboos, shakshuka, pilaf and curries, with great recommendations from Square Meal UAE. Al Fanar, Zaroob and Seven Sands sound particularly appealing, serving up the likes of Emirati pancakes, manakeesh flatbreads and lamb machboos, as well a mouthwatering desserts showcasing the traditional flavours of dates, saffron and cardamom.

In simple terms, what defines a pilaf from a Spanish paella or Indian biriyani for me is the use of rice and choice of ingredients. So this cheat recipe uses the likes of warming cardamom, cinnamon, lemon, turmeric and cumin for that distinctive colour and flavour of the Middle East. I've read they sometimes feature saffron too, if you're feeling fancy.

Shopping list.
Serves two generous portions
♥ 120g long grain rice
♥ One red pepper, de-seeded and sliced
♥ 50g frozen peas
♥ 50g broccoli, or a small head
♥ 150g jumbo king prawns, cooked
♥ 5 cardamom pods, crushed
♥ 1 tsp cinnamon
♥ 1 tsp turmeric
♥ 1 tsp ground cumin
♥ A squeeze of half a lemon, plus extra for serving

Step one. Boil your rice in a large saucepan as per the instructions, which is usually around 8-10 minutes.

Step two. Turn on your grill to a medium heat and grill the peppers for 5-8 minutes, until nicely charred.

Step three. When there are 5 minutes left on the rice, add in the broccoli and peas and continue to cook so the rice and vegetables are cooked at the same time.

Step four. Drain the rice and vegetables, stir through the grilled peppers, prawns and spices over a low heat until cooked through. Add lemon (or even some optional extra chilli) to suit your taste.

Serve up piping hot. No need for sides - it's packed with colour and flavour as it is!

Top tip to save even more time:
Use a pre made packet of microwave rice, such as pilau or long grain. These are handy for quick meals and supermarket only brand packets are usually only around 45p-80p.

Top tip to save money:
Have frozen peas, vegetables and prawns on hand, as they're lots cheaper than fresh and are still excellent quality. Just simply defrost the night before! The same goes for lemon - lemon juice in your fridge can sometimes be better than buying a whole net of lemons.

Top tip to save cupboard space:
Choose medium curry power or garam masala rather than individual jars, just check the ingredients for your favourite spices.

Have you ever made a pilaf? What about a risotto, paella or biriyani? Do you have any cheat recipes for pilafs and other rice dishes?


  1. Sounds a delight - easy to follow recipe ! Fool proof for me

  2. Wow! The end result seems luscious. Thanks for sharing such easy recipe to cook king prawn and vegetable pilaf. However, I found a similar recipe on PNT site. Now I have two methods to try my hands on!

  3. This looks fantastic I love paella and haven't had in such a long time

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  24. Vegetable pilaf, also known as vegetable pulao or pilaf, is a flavorful rice dish cooked with a mix of vegetables and aromatic spices. Common vegetables used include carrots, peas, and beans. This versatile and satisfying dish is known for its fragrant and well-seasoned profile, making it a popular choice in various cuisines.
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