Indian Shrimp Pulao Recipe

Many years ago I was invited to a friend’s home for dinner. The dish they chose to serve that night was an Indian pulao (or pilaf) with shrimp. When I inquired as to how they discovered it, I was informed that it had been passed on to them from another friend and that it was actually an ayurvedic dish meant to heal through diet. They gave me a brief summary of the concepts behind ayurvedic medicine and said this dish was perfect for tempering too strong of a fire element present in the body.

So here I am, sitting at the dinner table listening to the theory behind Ayurveda. In a nutshell, there are five elements present in the human body (earth, water, fire, air, and ether) that must be in balance with one another in order to live a healthy life. If out of balance, or if one element is more present than others, all forms of illness may occur. As I’m eating the delicious pulao, I find a couple of thoughts wandering through my mind:

1. Wait. I thought I was having dinner with friends, not giving my chakras an oil change.

2. What’s going to happen to me if I eat this and my fire element is working just fine? Will I wake up with a  mean case of back acne tomorrow?

Irregardless of the supposed healing properties of this dish and the risk of completely misaligning my body by eating it, I instantly fell in love with it and asked for the recipe. I’m happy to report that it’s now a household favorite and no one has broken out in strange rashes after eating it.

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  1. Melt butter in large skillet, sautee rice until golden.
  2. Transfer rice into stock pot, add water. Bring rice to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. While rice is cooking, heat oil in skillet, add mustard seeds and sautee gently until they begin to pop.
  4. Stir in turmeric, curry, peas, raisins and pepitas
  5. After a few minutes, add shrimp and cook until pink. Mix in cooked rice, and serve warm.
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