Prawn dopiaza with saffron rice

Enjoy a luxurious Indian meal with Silvana Franco's recipe combining tiger prawns in a coconut sauce with saffron rice
By Silvana Franco
Prawn dopiaza with saffron rice
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 6 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 1 kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 200 g coconut cream
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • 6 tbsp hot curry paste
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar, preferably muscovado
  • sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.25kg peeled raw tiger prawns, thawed if frozen
  • grated zest and juice 1 lemons
  • 20 g coriander leaves, to serve

For the saffron rice:

  • 2 litres water
  • pinch of strands saffron
  • 25 g butter
  • 1 kg basmati rice
  • 1 tsp salt


1. Heat the sunflower oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add in the onion and fry gently for 15 minutes until softened and golden.

2. Add in the cardamom pods and tomatoes. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

3. Mix in the creamed coconut, vegetable stock, curry paste and sugar. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

4. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring now and then and adding a little water if the sauce becomes too thick.

5. Add in the prawns, lemon zest and lemon juice and cook for 2-3 minutes until the prawns turn pink and opaque and are just cooked through.

6. Meanwhile, cook the rice. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

7. Bring the water to the boil in a large saucepan. Stir the saffron threads into the boiling water and set aside.

8. Melt the butter in a large flameproof casserole. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains in butter. Cook for 1 minute.

9. Pour in the saffron water and stir in the salt. Bring to the boil, then cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.

10. Divide the rice among 4 warm serving plates, spoon the prawn dopiaza on top, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

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