Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

middle eastern shrimp and rice pilaf

a recipe by
Lori Loucas (JostLori)
San Diego

This is an easy take of the Kuwaiti dish, Murabyan, using ingredients readily available here in the States. The onions in this dish seemingly melt into the rice, giving it a delicious richness and silkiness.

serves 4-6
prep time 10 Min
cook time 50 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For middle eastern shrimp and rice pilaf

  • 1 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground cardamom
  • kosher salt & black pepper
  • 1 lb
    colossal shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 4 Tbsp
    unsalted butter, divided use
  • 2 md
    onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 clove
    garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp
    saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 c
    basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 c
    water or broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 2 tsp
    lime zest
  • 2 Tbsp
    lime juice (see note)
  • 3 Tbsp
    cilantro, minced

How To Make middle eastern shrimp and rice pilaf

  • 1
    In a medium bowl, combine all the spice mix ingredients. Set aside 1 tablespoon, leaving the remainder in the bowl. Add the shrimp to the bowl and toss to coat the shrimp evenly with the spices.
  • 2
    In a heavy bottomed pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes, in a single layer, until they are barely getting golden. Don't stir. Remove the shrimp to a plate and set aside. The shrimp will NOT be totally cooked.
  • 3
    To the same pot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter. Place over medium heat, and when it starts to sizzle, add the onions and about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir so all is coated, then cover the pot and let cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  • 4
    Uncover the pot and continue cooking until the onions are golden, about 6-8 minutes. Stir often.
  • 5
    Add the sliced garlic, the reserved spice mix, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir gently while cooking for about 1 minute, then add the saffron and the water (or broth). Bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, return to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
  • 6
    Turn off the heat and gently fluff the rice with a fork. Add the semi-cooked shrimp on top, then cover the pan. Let sit for 10 minutes while the shrimp finish cooking in the residual heat. Remember, the heat source should be OFF!
  • 7
    After 10 minutes, add the lime juice. Stir gently until shrimp and lime juice are distributed. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
  • 8
    Serve in a large serving bowl, garnished with the chopped cilantro and lime zest. Optional: serve lime wedges alongside.

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