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Beyond Curry: Aromatic Indian Shrimp Pilaf (Kolambi Bhaat)

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[Photograph: Prasanna Sankhe]

If, like me, you love rice and have a soft spot for seafood, you're bound to find this dish irresistible. It uses a host of whole spices that create a wonderfully heady aroma. Kolambi Bhaat literally translates to shrimp pilaf; it's an especially popular meal along India's west coast, where there's an abundant supply of fresh seafood.

Despite its many ingredients, this pilaf isn't difficult to prepare. The whole spices, coconut milk and subtle hint of chilies make it more fragrant than spicy. And, of course, basmati rice contributes another perfumed layer to the flavor profile.You can have this pilaf on its own or add some papadums for crunch and raita(yogurt salad) for pleasant contrast.

About the author: Denise Dsilva Sankhe is a writer & creative director by profession. But that's only when she isn't eating her way across India. She recreates this delicious cuisine in her Mumbai home, which she shares with her husband, who has long since given up his determination to have salads for dinner.

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