Machbuss Rubian (Shrimp and Rice Pilaf)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


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
  • 12 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 23 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 lb. jumbo head-on shrimp, cleaned
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro


Step 1

Place rice, 3 tsp. salt, and 3 cups water in a medium bowl; let soak for 1 hour.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.