Prawn and Coconut Rice

Prawn and Coconut Rice, invasion of India in Iran and Eaten in Israel

This is a rice dish eaten in Israel, imported from Iran, who got it from India. Everyone added their customizations and this is the result. This rice dish packs a little more heat than one would expect. This recipe strays from tradition with the addition of coconut cream.

Prawn and Coconut Rice
Prawn and Coconut Rice

We are talking here about 90 minutes of work for this dish. And you need to focus on the recipe, because it can be tricky.


  • 30g/1oz/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3cm/1¼in piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato purée/paste
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek (optional)
  • 500g/1lb 2oz large raw prawns/shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 small handfuls of coriander/cilantro leaves, finely chopped, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 250ml/9fl oz/generous 1 cup coconut cream
  • zest and juice of 1 lime or 2 tsp dried lime powder
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil
  • parboiled Rice
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lime wedges, to serve

    Prawn and Coconut Rice
    Prawn and Coconut Rice

  1. 1 Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and fry for 3–5 minutes until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the chilli, cinnamon, ginger and tomato purée/paste, plus the turmeric and fenugreek, if using, and cook, stirring, for another 2–3 minutes.
  3. Add the prawns/shrimp, garlic and coriander/cilantro, stirring briefly so that they are covered in the spice and herb mixture, and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Mix in the coconut cream and lime zest and juice.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat until it’s sizzling.
  8. Using a spoon, sprinkle 4–5 tablespoons of the rice across the bottom to cover the base.
  9. Add 2–3 tablespoons of the prawn/shrimp and coconut mixture and continue creating alternate layers of prawn mixture and rice, building the mixture up into a dome shape.
  10. Finish with a layer of rice. (Tipping all the rice in at once will squash and compress it, and the end result will not be as light and fluffy.)
  11. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, make three holes in the rice all the way to the bottom of the pan.
  12. Wrap the saucepan lid in a clean dish towel and tie it into a tight knot at the handle, then use it to cover the pan as tightly as you can so that steam does not escape. (The dish towel will prevent the moisture from dripping into the rice,  making it soggy.)
  13. Cook the rice over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes until the rice is steaming (you will see puffs of steam escaping at the edges of the lid), then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20–25 minutes, with the lid on all the time.
  14. Serve the rice and tahdeeg (crispy bottom).
  15. Sprinkle with extra coriander/cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
Prawn and Coconut Rice
Prawn and Coconut Rice
Prawn and Coconut Rice
Prawn and Coconut Rice
Prawn and Coconut Rice
Prawn and Coconut Rice

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