Machbuss Rubian (Shrimp and Rice Pilaf)
Influences from all over the Middle East and South Asia converge in this highly seasoned seafood pilaf made with curry and shrimp. This recipe first appeared in SAVEUR Issue #140 along with Anissa Helou’s story Breaking the Fast.
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 5 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1⁄2 cup canola oil
- 15 curry leaves
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 tsp. bzar
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (2″) piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 3 dried black limes
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
- 2 2⁄3 cups vegetable stock
- 2 lb. jumbo head-on shrimp, cleaned
- 3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
- 3 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
- Place rice, 3 tsp. salt, and 3 cups water in a medium bowl; let soak for 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 375°. Heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add curry leaves and cloves and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add spice mix, turmeric, garlic, and ginger, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add limes and tomatoes, and cook, stirring, until tomatoes begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain rice and add to pot along with remaining salt and stock; bring to a boil and then arrange shrimp on top of ingredients in pot. Cover and transfer to oven; bake until rice is tender and shrimp are cooked through, about 25 minutes.
- Transfer shrimp to a plate and set aside; stir 2 tbsp. each parsley and cilantro into rice. Transfer rice to a large serving platter and arrange shrimp on top; sprinkle with remaining parsley and cilantro.