Fragrant basmati rice pilaf with sausages and shrimp

Every bite of the rice pilaf is FULL of flavour! I’d suggest making this dish the star of the night, rather than a side dish. The tomatoes, cumin and turmeric give the rice its beautiful rich colours.

It is best to utilize a large skillet that can be placed in the oven to minimize the steps in the cooking process.

Serves 4-6


1 ½ cups of basmati rice-washed
2 Italian sausages (mine were homemade mild pork/lamb sausages)-sliced 1 inch thick
1 spicy chorizo sausage-sliced 1 inch thick
15 black tiger shrimps 26/30 count-peeled, deveined (keep the peel)
2 shallots-sliced
5 garlic cloves-sliced
1 leek-white parts mainly, thinly sliced
1 can of whole tomatoes (no salt added, 796 ml)
1 tomato- keep seeds, rough chop
1 1/2 cups of white wine
2 cups of unsalted beef broth
chili flakes (optional)- I did not use them
Cooking oil
4 Lime wedges

Salt and black pepper
1 tsp of tumeric
2 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp of coriander seeds
2 tsp of dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp of smoked paprika (can use regular)
Large handful of parsley-rough chop

Marinade for the shrimp:
1 tsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of soy sauce
Small slices of ginger
1/2 tsp of cornstarch
Pinch of black pepper

Preparation work:

1. Prepare the shrimp at least 3 hours in advanced: Peel and devein the shrimp. In a bowl, add the marinade and mix gently. Refrigerate until ready to use. Wash the shells, dry and add them into a cheesecloth tied with a string. They will be added to the sauce to infuse flavour. Adding the shrimp shells are optional.

2. Prepare all other ingredients as per instruction.



Cooking Steps:

1. In a large pan, add a tiny bit of oil and cook the Italian sausages. Mid-way cooking the sausages, add in the chorizo sausages. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Using the same pan, adding additional oil as needed, cook the shallots for a few minutes followed by adding in the leeks and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the leeks until they are soft.

3. Add in the fresh and canned tomatoes. Break down the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and cook the mixture for at least 10 minutes. Add in the shrimp shells that are wrapped in cheese cloth to the sauce.

Adding the tomatoes to the mix

Adding the tomatoes to the mix

4. Add in tumeric, cumin, cayenne, coriander seeds, thyme, bay leaves and paprika. Stir.

5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

6. Add the sausages back in. Add in the beef broth and white wine. Let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes to let the flavours mingle.

7. Add in the basmati rice. Stir the mixture so that the rice is evenly distributed in the pan.

Adding in the rice

Adding in the rice

8. Place the pan with a tight lid in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F.

9. After 10 minutes, put the pan (becareful of the hot handles) back onto the stove top, the rice should be cooked. If not, you can either put the rice back into the oven for a few more minutes or let it cook on the stove top with the lid on. Once the rice is cooked, add in the shrimp (without the marinade) into the mixture. The pilaf is ready as soon as the shrimp is cooked.

10. Remove the shrimp shells and bay leaves. Mix the rice. If the bottom is sticking, add a bit more wine and deglaze. Add in fresh parsley.

11. Plate and serve with a squeeze of lime juice.


Basmati rice pilaf

Basmati rice pilaf

If you like your food spicy, spice it up with chili peppers and hot sauce!


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