Recipe: Prawn and Spinach Pilaf

My own personal take on a traditional Pilaf (also known as pilav, pilau, plov, pulao, polu and papaw), a dish that is common in Middle Eastern as well as Caribbean cusine and is made by cooking rice in a seasoned broth – generally sautéing onions and spices ahead of adding the broth.

My top tip, is follow the instructions! Don’t panic when you’re pan frying rice, without any water – it is against every recipe I have ever followed so it was a little unnerving but you need to fry the rice before adding the broth, TRUST ME!

This recipe was taken and adapted from Eat In magazine.

NB. For the first attempt, I halved all of the quantities below that served two people comfortably.

Prawn Pilaf

Prawn Pilaf

PRAWN AND SPINACH PILAF (serves 6 – prep 10mins and 30mins cooking)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (this ingredient really makes it!)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1-2 green chillies, sliced (optional)
  • 350g basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 300g frozen spinach (fresh spinach also works, I had to substitute as wasn’t able to find any frozen spinach)
  • 700ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g frozen cooked prawns, defrosted
  • Mango chutney, to serve
  • Chia seeds, to serve (my absolute new obsession, they’re great to add as a sprinkle before serving)


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-based lidded saucepan, over a medium heat and sauté the onions for 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in the ginger, garlic, paprika, and green chillies (if using) and cook for 5 minutes or until fragrant and brown.
  2. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes or until the rice is translucent at the edges. Add the spinach (fresh if you can’t find frozen at this point too) and stock. Season. Cover and cook, over a very low heat for 12 minutes or until all the liquid has absorbed.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in 300g of the prawns, reserving the rest for garnish. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes more or until piping hot.
  4. Divide between serving bowls, garnish with the remaining prawns and serve with a dollop of mango chutney


Bon appetite!

Here are a few piccies of my first attempt. Verdict? It’s a super easy recipe and is absolutely jam-packed full of flavour, whilst not making you feel too carb heavy. I will certainly be adding this fab new recipe to my weekly dinner repertoire!

Prawn pilaf and mango chutney

Prawn pilaf and mango chutney

Prawn Pilaf

Prawn Pilaf


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