Shrimp & Rice with Spicy Tomato Sauce

A simple dish bursting with flavor.

Cooking shrimp with rice reminds me of my trips with baba to the fish market in Kuwait. It was the biggest market in Kuwait that sells all kinds of fish and the largest sizes of shrimp. Baba used to buy a big basket made of straw full of shrimp along with two types of fish, Hamour and Zbeidi. Mama would spend hours cleaning the shrimp and then dividing them into several meals because it was always too much to eat. That same day, mama would make us shrimp with rice. I can still smell the aroma of mama’s meal. Fresh ground spices, shrimp as big as my palm, basmati rice, and the spicy sauce on the side. Sending love to baba for taking me with him and love to mama for teaching me how to make this meal.

[Recipe card out of order/coming soon!]

Shrimp & Rice with Spicy Tomato Sauce

1 ½ pound large shrimp
2 cups basmati rice
1tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ginger
 ½ tsp turmeric
5 cloves of garlic
2 tbs of coconut oil
2 tbs vinegar
½ tsp garlic powder
½ squeezed lemon
3 cups boiling water


  • 3 medium sized, peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs ketchup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water

Rice Prep:

  • Soak in warm water with ¼ tsp of salt for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse before adding to the pot as the recipe states.

Sauce Method:

  • In a small pot, add the oil and the finely chopped garlic.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and jalapeno. Sauté them with the garlic.
  • Add the salt, sugar, tomato paste, and ketchup.
  • Mix and stir all the ingredients together.
  • Add the boiling water.
  • Put the pot on high heat until boiling then lower the heat and cover the pot.
  • Keep the pot covered on very low heat for five minutes, then turn off the heat.
  • Add more hot water if you prefer a thinner sauce.

Shrimp & Rice Method:

  • Peel shrimp and soak in cold water with vinegar and garlic powder for 10 minutes.
  • In a large pot, put the coconut oil and the finely chopped garlic.
  • Sauté garlic and shrimp until the shrimp begins to change in color.
  • Add the salt, spices, and keep sautéing. 
  • Add the lemon juice.
  • Add the rice and sauté with the shrimp for 4 to 5 minutes. Keep mixing both the shrimp and the rice until they’re combined and fully coated in the mixture.
  • Add the boiling water to the mixture.
  • When the water boils, lower the heat to low and cover the pot.
  • After 20 minutes, stir/fluff the rice and shrimp with a fork and turn off the stove.
  • Add the sauce and enjoy!