15 minute Shimp and Green Lentil Pulao (Instant Pot)

Shrimp and Lentil PulaoI am often on the quest for creating soulful, wholesome comforting dishes.  When they are easily transportable in a lunchbox, I am elated. Dishes like this Shrimp and Green Lentil Pulao, done in under 15 minutes in my instant pot make me happy. The entire process  to create this shrimp pulao was quick and easy, It took me about 35 minutes from start to finish.  I had soaked the lentils 15 minutes before I started everything else. I really like is the fact that I have nailed the rice texture with the instant pot.

If you are a Bengali like me, odds are you will be very finicky about the texture of your rice. The general setting of the rice in the instant pot is a little too soft for me.

This time during my shopping escapades I found the best red skinned potatoes from Melissa’s Produce and add some in this dish for good measure.

With trial and error, I have found that the right moisture content for me is a 1 is to 1 and 1/4 cup of water ratio.  So, essentially with this recipe, I prepped for about 10 minutes, sauteed and stuff for about 5 minutes, cooked for 6 and let the rice rest for about 8 minutes to allow for a natural steam release. These thirty minutes allowed for a hearty meal, that was great for dinner and of course my lunchbox.

Shrimp and Green Lentil Pulao

I call this a pulao, as I do not layer the dish like a traditional biriyani. Having said that, the layering concept is mostly from Northern India. South Indian variants often skip the layering and for that matter often skip the fuss with multiple colors. In short, my kind of biryani.  Here is a stove top version of a shrimp biryani that I had posted a few moons ago.

I have been nursing a bad cough, which abated for a little during thanksgiving. Possibly because I was too excited with all the cooking. I have to confess, I was a little tired with all the cooking, that has happened after a long time. Hopefully the next two days will help.

15 minute Shrimp and Green Lentil Pulao (Instant Pot)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

A hearty one dish meal, made in my electric pressure cooker, This recipe of course is very easily adaptable for the stove top.


  • 1/2 cup green french lentils
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 pods green cardamom
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 red skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup green peas (I used frozen)
  • 1/2 pound medium sized shrimp (about 15 to 20 shelled and de-veined)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 fresh lime)
  • Chopped cilantro to garnish


  1. Soak the lentils in 1 cup of hot water for 30 minutes or longer. I do this just before I start gathering other things and prepping.
  2. Turn the instant pot into a saute setting and add in the oil.
  3. Heat the oil and add in the onion and saute for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute.
  5. Drain and add in the lentils, the cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves and the Basmati rice with the potatoes , peas and the shrimp
  6. Add in 1 and a quarter cup of water.
  7. Cover and set the instant pot for 6 minutes. Let it rest for 8 minutes which should allow for a natural steam release.
  8. Remove the rice and sprinkle with the lime juice and the chopped cilantro.
  9. Serve hot.


To adapt this for the stove top, simply increase the water to 2 cups and cook on the stove top for 18 minutes.



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