Goan Tisreo (Clam) Pulao/Pilaf

Clam pulao is a delicious and aromatic pulao/pilaf prepared in coastal Goa. The addition of sweet prawns/shrimps or clams, greatly embellish a simple pulao. You would not even need an side dish as the pulao is a complete dish on it’s own. Shrimp and clam pulao are my personal favorites amongst all the varieties of pulao, for it’s deliciousness, ease & speed of preparation. This is one of those minimal effort, maximum flavor kind of dishes. Of course if you are using fresh clams, you gottta cleam ’em up and stuff. But I wouldn’t really complain knowing the end result that awaits me after the preparation of this pulao.

So what goes into this pulao? Very basic ingredients, really! Pulao is cooked in a flavorful clam broth, seasoned with whole spices, and turmeric powder for that gorgeous color! And that’s about it, easy peasy! I enjoy this dish for it’s simplicity! You can go ahead, and add tomatoes, few more spices, ginger garlic etc. But I avoid all these, as I like the flavor of the clams to dominate the entire dish. It’s a regular in my household whenever I get my hands on some fresh clams!

Ingredients: Measuring cup used, 1 Cup = 250 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml

1 pound clams (You can use the canned ones too)

1 cup Basmati rice, washed thoroughly and soaked for at least 30 minutes

Whole spices ( 1 Bay leaf, 6 peppercorns, 4 green cardamom, 3 cloves, 2 inch cinnamon stick)

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 bouillon cube

1-2 green chilies, slit lengthwise

1 tablespoon oil/ghee


1.Rinse the clams wells. Fill a bowl with water, transfer the clams in it to get rid of any any grit or dirt. Now clean each clam under running tap water with the help of a brush. Repeat with rest of the clams, transfer to a clean plate, place it in the freezer for few hours. They will open up easily. Discard the ones that don’t open. Open the clam, retain the meat on one side of the shell. Discard the other half. Reserve the clam juices.


2.Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add all the whole spices, saute until fragrant.


3.Next add the sliced onions, saute until translucent.


4.Crush the bouillon cube, saute again for few seconds.


5.Add in the turmeric powder and sauté for another 30 seconds.


6.Add the rice and gently saute the rice for another 30 seconds, taking care not to break the grains.


7.Add the clams/clam meat and mix well. Add the clam juice in a liquid measuring cup, top it off with additional water to make it a total of 2 cups liquid. Add the liquid to pan, add in the slit chillies, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmer covered until all the liquid is absorbed. Let it sit covered with the lid for 10-15 minutes. Remove the cover and fluff with a fork. Enjoy it with any curry of your choice or on it’s own with some salad.


  1. The clam juices and bouillon cube add enough flavor to the dish, you may not need to add more salt. Add if you wish to.

  2. Usually the shell is discarded and only the clam meat is used in this pulao. But I’ve cooked it with the shell. You may use only the clam meat.

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Have a fabulous week ahead!






  1. Loretta says:

    Wow Freda! You’ve done it again, absolutely superb! Love the arrangement and the plating as always. I’m making chorizo pulao today. My Aunt in Louisana made the chorizo and mailed me about 4, I’m treasuring them. It’s been a while since I’ve had any.

  2. hummingbirdthyme says:

    Minimal effort – Maximum flavor : my favorite type of recipe. I can almost taste it just reading your post and seeing your beautiful photos!

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