Goan Prawn Peas Pulao recipe made with a freshly ground green masala and prawns with peas, this one pot meal is so easy to put together and so satisfying to tuck into.
Living away from the family really does put a fresh perspective on life – it makes you cherish the memories of the past and appreciate the moments you have now when you are actually together. Whether its what we cook at home (and how often) or how we try to hold on to the little traits and quirks that were part of family life back home. Food is always at the centre of it, one bite of something familiar is all it takes to be reminded of the place and people that are your own.
Sunday lunches were a big deal in our household back in Goa ( still are actually) – Dad would wake up early, head to the markets so he could bring back the freshest catch of the day. Once Mum would look through the market purchases, she’d tell us what she would make and we’d all chip in with what we’d like to eat. More often than not, we’d all pretty much think alike as a family but the discussion happened nevertheless. My dad’s a neat freak so he’d go around commanding us to make sure the house was spick-and-span and I’d make sure I was in the kitchen (partly to just avoid the cleaning).
Every time we would have this Prawn Pulao, I’d wash the peas, stir the onion so it doesn’t brown but only softens, pester Mum until she gave me the go ahead to add the tomatoes (not too soon, not too late) and then wanting to taste a prawn before the rice is added. All the while by her side until lunch was ready and she’d finally order me to set the table. Then all four of us would sit together and relish every single bite – we’d have sides like crispy rawa (semolina) coated pan-fried fish ( see recipe here) and a light salad followed by plans for a trip to the beach in the evening. So many Sunday memories come back to me every time we cook this now at home.
I don’t really think this recipe has any history or authentic source – it is one of those dishes that just got put together with whatever was available in the pantry. The green masala – a heady blend of fresh coriander (where you use the stalks as well as the leaves), green chillies, ginger and garlic ( fresh mint leaves are optional) does form the basis to a few other Goan dishes and was always made on a weekly basis so it could find its way in different curries and stir-fries at home.
This recipe is so easy to put together and so satisfying to tuck into. The spice levels can be easily adjusted based on how hot you can handle it. It’s one of those dishes where every ingredient serves a purpose, one that you can feel in every bite. And it has sweet delicious PRAWNS, I rest my case!
- 300 gms Prawns (clean and de-vein)
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup Green peas
- 1 onion - large (finely chopped)
- 1 tomato - medium (finely chopped)
- half a bunch coriander Fresh
- 10 - 12 mint Fresh - leaves
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 inch ginger (minced)
- 2 green chillies
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 3/4 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cardamom (crush lightly)
- 4 - 6 Peppercorns
- a pinch cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- to taste salt
Marinate the prawns with salt, turmeric, chilli powder and set aside for 15-30 minutes.
At the same time, finely grind together the coriander, mint, green chilli, ginger and garlic ( add a few drops of water to make a thick paste).
Cook the rice separately with a few whole spices like bay leaf, cardamom pods, roughly crushed pepper corns, cinnamon and lemon juice, fluff with a few drops of oil and set aside to cool down slightly. Avoid using cold or leftover rice.
In a wok, heat the oil and fry the onion until softened.
Add in the tomatoes and cook until they get mushy and blend nicely with the onion. If you find that the tomatoes you are using are not as sweet, add 1/2 a teaspoon or raw sugar to balance flavors.
Add the marinated prawns and the remaining green coriander chilli paste and combine well.
Add the peas and cover to cook until prawns are perfectly done.
Add the cooked rice such that all of it is well coated. Adjust the salt as necessary. Ready to eat!