Friday, March 11, 2011

Green Prawns Pulao

A couple of weeks ago, a 6 year old girl from my daughter’s school was killed in a car accident.  It was a very sad incident that impacted the whole school.  The school was invited for the memorial service at the Church and my daughter was insistent she too wanted to attend.  So I let her.  For the next couple of days my daughter was withdrawn and sad and did not want to talk about it.  When gradually she came around, she would cry for some time and then go back to what she was doing.  She needed time to process and grieve.  I was a bit surprised as to why she was sad as she did not really know the girl.  After giving her some days to cope with this, I had a talk with her to understand why she was so sad.  And she said, “I am not sad for the girl.  I am sure she is in a better place.  I am sad for the family who she left behind.  I saw them at the memorial service and they were so broken.  The mother and father, the brother and sister – how will they cope with this?”

She was so right.  It is the family left behind who has to deal with the loss.  So I told her we could pray for the family so that they are given the strength they need to overcome this difficult period in their lives.  We prayed for some time together for the family.  My daughter is back to normal, but she has a picture of the girl who passed away near her desk.  I think it is her way of thanking God for being alive – of having a family and praying for all those who have lost loved ones.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Serves 4

2 cups prawns, cleaned and deveined
2 medium sized red onions, sliced finely
2 cups long grained basmati rice
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoons green chilli paste
2 teaspoons coriander leaves paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoons chilli powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons whole cream
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
4 almonds
6 cashew nuts
4 green cardamoms
Salt to taste
A pinch asafetida
Onion rings and capsicum rings for garnish


  1. Wash and soak the rice in 4 cups water for 10 minutes.  Keep on the fire and let it cook till it is almost done.  Drain the remaining water and keep the rice aside.
  2. Roast and grind the almonds, cashew nuts, cardamom and poppy seeds.  Keep aside.  
  3. Mix the ginger-garlic, green chilli and coriander pastes with the above ground ingredients and marinate the prawns in this mixture, covered and refrigerated, for about 2 hours. 
  4. Heat oil in a thick bottomed vessel and add the asafetida when hot.  
  5. Now add the onions and fry till brown in color.  
  6. Add the turmeric, chilli powder and garam masala and fry for another two minutes.  
  7. Add the cream and the prawn mixture and salt.  Cook on medium flame for another 5 minutes.  
  8. Add the half cooked rice and let it steam on low flame, covered, till the rice is fully cooked.  Garnish with onions & capsicum and serve hot.

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