Butterflied prawn machboos with herby rice

Butterflied prawn machboos with herby rice

15 mins Prep · 45 mins Cook

Machboos is popular all over the Middle East – with each family having their own closely guarded recipe for the dish. While it can be served either with chicken, lamb or seafood, this prawn version with crispy herby rice is a definite showstopper.

Created by Spinneys
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Serves 6
Cuisine Arabic
Diet Family Friendly
Preparation Easy
Nutrition (per serving)
Calories 345
Fat 16g
Saturates 4g
Protein 30g
Carbs 17g
Sugars 5g
Given the cook-at-home nature of Spinneys and natural variations in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details

Cooking Instructions

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To make the machboos spice, mix the loumi, bay leaves, cloves, cardamon pods, cumin, cinnamon, fine coriander, turmeric, and ½ tsp of sea salt in a pestle and mortar, or spice grinder, and mix until combined.


Butterfly the prawns by slicing them down the back from head to tail but not cutting right through. Place them in a zip-top bag or container.


In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp of the machboos spice mix and 3 tbsp of the olive oil and mix to form a paste. Coat the prawns in the oil-spice mix and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.


Rinse the rice until the water runs clear then soak it in cold water for 30 minutes. In a medium-sized pot combine the rice, water and ½ tsp of salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until almost cooked through. Place the lid on the pot and set aside to steam for 5 minutes. Fluff the grains with a fork.


Finely chop the parsley and zest the lemon. Stir the parsley and lemon zest into the rice.


Heat the sunflower oil in a large cast-iron pan over a medium heat and spoon the rice over the base, spreading it out evenly. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the base is golden and caramelised. Remove from the heat and set aside.


Finely grate the garlic, finely slice the leeks and dice the tomatoes. In a large cast-iron pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the garlic and leeks for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the ghee, tomato paste, marinated prawns, coriander, diced tomatoes and season well with the remaining salt. Cook for 5 minutes and remove from the heat.


Invert the crispy rice onto a serving dish and top with the prawns and lime wedges.