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Kuwaiti Spiced Shrimp and Basmati Rice

4-6 Servings

1 hour 10 minutes 40 minutes active

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The Kuwaiti dish called murabyan is a shrimp and rice pilaf fragrant with spices, herbs and alliums. Our simplified version gets richness from a good measure of butter and a savory-sweet flavor foundation from onions that are sautéed until golden. To keep the shrimp plump and tender, we briefly sauté them, then set them aside until the rice is done. We then scatter the shrimp over the rice and allow them to gently finish cooking with the rice’s residual heat. Dried limes called loomi are used to impart a sour, concentrated citrusy flavor to murabyan, but since loomi are difficult to source in the U.S., we finish the dish with fresh lime juice and zest.




Don’t stir the rice with a spoon after removing the pot from the heat. The long, delicate grains of basmati break easily. Instead, lightly and gently fluff the rice with a fork before adding the shrimp.

1 hour 10 minutes

40 minutes active


  • 1

    teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½

    teaspoon ground ginger


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Helen S.
March 13, 2023
Will make again
Excellent and very easy for a weeknight meal.
Brian P.
February 3, 2024
This is great for a light dinner
This recipe seems exotic, but is actually very straight-forward to make and enjoy. It's great when company comes over because it is not particularly labor-intensive.
February 12, 2024
I think I would double the spice so there's more available for the shrimp at start of recipe. But the rice was excellent.
Shrimp needed a bit more flavor.
Andre G.

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Andre G.

Double the shrimp and increase the spices accordingly. Always double the shrimp!

Zantha R.

Flavors on this one were amazing! I got a little over zealous cooking the shrimp in the first step - just follow the directions as written!

Catherine N.

This was delicious!!! Halved for 2 people, but otherwise made as written. The flavors were incredible. Will definitely make again!

Paul W.

Made it tonight and loved the end result. We’ll definitely have it again in the future. Only addition to the recipe was to make a simple shrimp stock with the shells and use that along with a little extra water to.cook the rice.

Jim S.

Excellent! Definitely use larger shrimp and more of them. You can enrich the water by a sauté of the shrimp shells (even better if your shrimp still have beads on) then adding the water and after letting them sit in it for few minutes adding this shrimp water to the recipe minus the shrimp of course.
Definitely, this dish is a keeper.

Lisa O.

I made this recipe with chicken. I used the spice mix as a rub with a little olive oil. I baked it and chopped it after it rested. I added it to the cooked rice and I kept the lime and cilantro. It was delicious!

Tricia S.

Even with four T of butter, the dish is light and the shrimp flavor is not drowned out. I started with 1.3 lbs of shell-on shrimp, and by the time they were cleaned, the dish could have used more shrimp for four servings. Next time I’ll start with 2 lbs shell-on. I did make a stock with the shells to cook the rice, as suggested.

Sarah F.

I have made this a few times and it's great! I added peas last time for veg and it worked really well.