Mawled al-Nabi: Shrimp Pilau
Cookbook

Mawled al-Nabi: Shrimp Pilau

Mawled el-Nabi is called “Maulidi” in swahili. In the town of Lamu off the Kenyan coast, there is always a huge festive celebration to celebrate Maulidi. Children compete in donkey races, there are exciting sailing competitions, board game tournaments, poetry recitations, and women offer to do henna paintings. Meanwhile, there are lecturers who speak on the teachings of the Prophet, socio economic development, health, environmental awareness, and other important community topics. Shrimp pilau must be one of my favorite african dishes because it is so rich in flavor, creamy, and reminds me of the beautiful coastlines of Kenya. Since the swahili coast has had a lot of Arabic, Portuguese, and Indian trade influences, you’ll find that pilau tastes similar to biryani and other flavorful rice dishes. Give it a try yourself!

Serving Size: 5
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
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Pilau Masala
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tbsp paprika
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp curry powder
½ tsp black or white pepper
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp cinnamon
1½ tsp salt (or to taste)

Pilau
¼ cup vegetable oil/butter/ghee
1 medium red onions (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbsp ginger (minced)
1 small chilli (finely chopped)
¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
2 tomatoes (diced)
1 cup coconut milk
3 cups broth
2 cups basmati rice
0.5 kg shrimp

Instructions

  1. Combine shrimp in some of the spice mixture – cumin, paprika, cardamom, curry powder, pepper, cloves, salt, and saute in a saucepan for 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then toast any leftover spice mixture for about 1 minute.

  3. Quickly add the onions, garlic, ginger, and chilli; and cook until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 2-3 minutes.


  4. Add the basmati rice, and let toast for about 2 minutes. Then add the coconut milk,  broth, and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the rice is fully cooked.


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