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4.75 from 32 votes

Persian Style Shrimp and Rice (Meygoo Polo)

Try the classic combination of shrimp and rice with a Persian twist. This dish is packed with delicious and warm Middle Eastern spices! Master this recipe by watching our video and step-by-step tutorial.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 329kcal


  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil divided
  • 2 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger grated
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt more if needed
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper see notes
  • 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined


Prepare the rice

  • In a sauce pan, add the rice, water, one tablespoon vegetable oil and salt.
  • Bring to simmer and cook until the water is almost evaporated.
  • Place the lid on and cook the rice for another 5 minutes on low heat.
  • Turn the heat off and leave the rice covered and untouched for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, lightly fluff the rice using a fork.

Prepare the shrimp

  • Heat one tablespoon vegetable oil in a pan and saute onion until golden brown.
  • Stir in garlic and cook for a minute.
  • Stir in ginger. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add in tomato paste, turmeric, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir well to mix the ingredients.
  • Add in the shrimp and cook for a few more minutes until the shrimp is pink and fully cooked.
  • In a platter, add a layer of rice and top with the shrimp and onion mix. Repeat until all the shrimp and rice is in the platter. (You can also add the rice to the shrimp and onion - as shown in the video - and mix in the pan if the pan is large enough)
  • Using two forks, mix the rice and shrimp lightly.
  • Serve immediately.



  • You can use 1 teaspoon garlic powder instead of fresh garlic and ½ teaspoon dried ginger powder instead of fresh ginger. 
  • This dish has a spicy kick so if you don't like spicy food, please use less cayenne pepper or leave it out. If you like the dish to be spicier, add more cayenne pepper. 
  • One common issue with cooking shrimp is that sometimes it turns out tough and rubbery. Make sure not to over cook the shrimp if you want to avoid rubbery and tough shrimp. Shrimp usually needs between 4 to 6 minutes to cook completely. 
  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a pan. 
  • This recipe calls for tomato paste which gives it a subtle flavor and a nice color. Please don't substitute tomato paste with tomato paste, canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes. 


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 239mg | Sodium: 1960mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g