Polenta with Crispy Peas and Roasted Shrimp


First time we had polenta was on our anniversary lunch. Few months back, we celebrated our first anniversary by taking a Wine Train ride through the vineyard in gorgeous Napa Valley. It was a beautiful bright sunny day. The ride was for about 3 hours and we were served with a delicious four-course meal.

We both enjoy eating different kind of cuisines and trying out new dishes. So, he decided to try the Coriander Breast Chicken with Wild Mushroom Polenta and Avocado sauce for his entree.

As he was trying his first bite of polenta, I was staring at his face hoping the lunch doesn’t turn out to  be a disaster.


It was a success.. he loved polenta. I immediately registered it in my mind that I have to figure out what this ‘Polenta’ is and may be.. just may be.. I would make it someday.

Arvind has this super faith in my cooking.. even after eating hard rock cookies, sugarless cake, disaster curry and god knows what not. I know, he is such a sweetheart and motivates me all the time.

I was freaking out while making polenta for the first time and just made sure that we have some food delivery menu handy.. just in case!

Polenta is made from boiled cornmeal which could be either white or yellow. Cooking polenta is not rocket science but there are some serious techniques to follow;  like the ratio of water to polenta, stirring occasionally.. not too much or else it will become too sticky.. not too less or it will become hard. You have to serve it warm and re-heating polenta will not taste that good.

I wanted to keep the meal simple and so, decided to cook it with fresh sage to add that peppery flavor. Topped it with some pan fried peas and roasted some shrimp which added a lot of texture to the entire dish.

A simple flavor meal and what can I say.. Pasta is my favorite international dish and Polenta became my second favorite.

The left over shouldn’t be heated but you can wrap it in a plastic and refrigerate it for few days. When ever you want to eat, cut it in pieces/slices and pan fry it or even grill it.

This will serve 2 

Ingredients :

For the roasted shrimp –

  • 12 shrimps, remove the head and keep the tail
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chilly powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • salt
  • oil

For the pan fried peas –

  • 1 cup green peas
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oil

For the polenta —

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 cups water or broth (I used 2 cups water and 2 cups chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cup cheese (I used asiago cheese)
  • salt

Directions :

Start by cooking the polenta which will take about 30 minutes.

In a deep pan, add water and broth and bring it to a boil.

Now, with one hand, pour the polenta slowly to the pan and with the other hand, keep whisking. It’s extremely important to follow this step else the polenta will form lumps. You could also whisk the polenta in cold water or broth and then, turn on the heat and start whisking.

Add some salt and bring down the heat to low.

Cover the pan and let it slow cook for about 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. If you think it’s getting too thick, add some water and whisk to mix it properly.

At the end, add the sage, milk and cheese.. give it a mix and let it cook for another 5 minutes.

In the mean time, we can roast the shrimp and cook the peas.

In a bowl, mix the shrimp with all the spices, salt and some oil. Let it rest for 15 minutes

After 15 minutes, put them in skewers and roast it at 400F for about 10 to 15 minutes. The time may differ depending on the size of the shrimp.

Once done, cover them with an aluminum foil to keep it warm.

For the pan-fried peas, heat some oil in a pan.

Add the shallots and saute for a while.

Pour the peas, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.

Arranging the plate — Pour the creamy polenta on a plate, add some peas and top it with some roasted shrimp.

Finally, garnish with some more cheese and serve immediately.

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  1. Radhika @ foodfor7stages

    Polenta has been in my mind for quite a bit. I love your recipe and idea to pair it with shrimp. Have to try this one.

  2. Jeno @ Week Nite Meals

    Kankana, thank you for sharing this recipe, I am someone who has never had polenta either, so this is pretty eye opening!

  3. chinmayie @ love food eat

    I have never had polenta either!! Shrimp looks fab! perfectly juicy and plump :)

  4. Nami @ Just One Cookbook

    What a beautiful post Kankana! I love the recipe, styling, photos, everything. Very artistic.

  5. Amy @ Hungry Hungry Hippos

    This looks awesome! I love polenta when other people cook it but I have yet to make it successfully myself. Maybe I should try this recipe!

  6. elle marie

    Oh Sunshine!!!!! This looks tres chic, tres delicious, and tres yum yum!!! I LOVE polenta, this look so inviting, the dish is really all too alluring, I’m licking my pc screen.

  7. Tes

    It really beautiful, Kankana! It sounds so fresh and lovely :)

  8. Maris (In Good Taste)

    I love polenta and this is not only so gorgeous but looks so delicious

  9. Sweet Artichoke

    Polenta is one of my favourite confort food! I really like your addition of sage in the polenta, a very Italian touch :-)

  10. Vimitha

    Such a yummy platter… Looks so colorful and tempting…

  11. daksha

    Hi! kankana What a beautiful, nice & delicious post, thank you for sharing this recipe, I am never had polenta either, so this is new for me and yellow and green colors.. my eye say wow! Super buzzzzzzzeeedddd…

  12. Medeja

    What a colorful and lovely dish..!

  13. Kate from Scratch

    I was totally sold on this just from the title…then I saw those BEAUTIFUL photos. I’m totally nuts for it! Yum!

  14. Tina@flourtrader

    I really like the ingredient combo in the recipe and those pics are making me very hungry. Well done-Yum!

  15. leaf (the indolent cook)

    I do love a comforting polenta dish. This looks like such a vibrant and tasty meal!

  16. Deepa

    This Polenta thing is totally new for me. Your hubby is so sweet…Now I know what motivates u to try out different dishes :-) Clicks are eye catching ..
    Hamaree Rasoi

  17. lisaiscooking

    This dish is so pretty with all the different colors! Cooking for a memory like this is so fun, and your meal turned out perfectly. Great job!

  18. Priyanka

    Absolutely stunning….
    Also thanks for your inspiring words :)

  19. Nazneen

    The polenta looks gorgeous! So does the shrimp and I am not even a seafood lover. My children enjoy polenta fries with marinara sauce. Has that wonderful popcorn taste with a crisp soft texture. Yum.

  20. nancy at good food matters

    beautiful post. Polenta has such versatile preparations, and yours looks simply delicious. I love the pairing with fresh sage leaves. And, your spiced grilled shrimp would be wonderful, even by itself.

  21. Ann

    Wow – this is incredible! I love polenta – as does hubby. I’m allergic to shrimp, so I would do this with chicken. You’ve made an absolutely gorgeous dish – wow!

  22. Suja

    Wonderful recipe,looks fabulous,yum

  23. Rosa

    So colorful and delicious looking! That is one fabulous combination which reminds me somehow of the US dish “shrimps and grits”…



  24. Sandra's Easy Cooking

    oh wow woww..this is truly mouthwatering Kankana..I love this recipe and pictures are perfect!!! Wonderful post!!!!

  25. Tiffany

    I just adore polenta! And these crispy peas sound amazing!

  26. rebecca

    great polenta dish we love it here, especially J :-)

  27. Taste Junction

    Same here. I haven’t tried it and it looks amazing. And you know that’s the best part of blogging, when you see a fellow blogger blogging, you get the confidence in the ability to make that dish and if that person is from your part of the world, then you also tend to believe that you might as well like it. You know what I mean. This cannot happen if I would see it randomly on say a chef’s or a restaurant’s website!! Great post.

  28. Krithi

    That is a lovely recipe to start out with polenta..
    Event: Serve It – Grilled/Barbequed/Tandoored

  29. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets

    Mmm dang this looks so good. Shrimp is my favorite form of protein and I love a good creamy polenta.

  30. Cilantro

    Love the post, recipes and clicks as well. Looks simply super and delicious!

  31. Sissi

    Polenta and shrimps with all the spices make it a fantastic fusion dish! From a distance I thought at first it was a kind of curry soup with shrimps :-)

  32. Manu

    This looks great Kankana! I love polenta (could it be otherwise??) and yours look really good! I always make a little extra to pan fry and eat with melted cheese on top! Well done! And amazing pictures btw!

  33. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum

    Beautiful! I love shrimp – this looks delicious!

  34. Divya Yadava

    I’ve never had polenta before but this looks pretty good! It’s such a happy colour – puts a smile on my face :).

  35. gloria

    This look delicious!! lovely pics, nice recipe gloria

  36. sukanya

    I have never tried this before, but after seeing your post, felt little encouraged to try it, loved your clicks

  37. tigerfish

    I have used cornmeal to cook congee (porridge) intentionally by adding more water to it. Maybe I can try polenta next time – by adjusting the water ratio.

  38. Tanvi@SinfullySpicy

    I am not a big fan of polenta except may be in sweets etc but those shrimps look killer! Wonderful flavors there!

  39. peachkins

    I am actually thinking about shrimps today…

  40. purabi naha

    Polenta is really something I am looking forward to try now. I haven’t tried polenta yet. Your photo looks gorgeous! Hope you had a great 1st anniversary. Congrats on being top 9, kankana! My well wishes are always there for you. Well deserved!

  41. Natalie

    Congrats on Top 9, beautiful photos! I love the crispy peas on top of the soft polenta. I’m always a bit scared of polenta, too many tasteless rubbery experiences , I guess!!

  42. Chef Dennis

    what a beautiful presentation of a what must have been a delicious dish! those crispy peas are such a wonderful touch!

  43. tinytearoom

    ahh this looks like a very comforting dish. the prawns look mouthwatering and the polenta nice and creamy. My partner has superfaith in my cooking too. It must mean they really love us 😉

  44. Nishi

    Hey Kankana congrats on making it to the top 9 on foodbuzz. This recipe truly rocks :)

  45. Peggy

    This sounds like such an amazing recipe! Simple and full of flavor =)

  46. Kitchen Belleicious

    You did the polenta absolutely perfectly. Seriously- it is perfect and looks so delicious with the shrimp and peas! Love it!

  47. nisha

    hey girl..congrats on making it to food buzz top 9 :)

  48. Treat and Trick

    Tempting combo and looks fabulous!

  49. Angie@Angiesrecipes

    What a fantastic combination of flavours! Looks so pretty too.

  50. Susan

    Beautiful photos! The colors are amazing! Congrats on making it onto the top 9! Thanks for sharing!

  51. Tracy

    oh yeah! i have all these ingredients and shall be making this for dinner tonight. thank you!

  52. Adelina

    Gorgeous in every way!

  53. Suzi

    This is a beautiful dish. It looks delicious, your phtotos are fabulous. I will definately try this. Thanks for sharing!

  54. visda

    what a wonderful meal. this is becoming one of my favorite summer meals. thanks for sharing it.

  55. Allie

    Ahh, polenta is SO great!

  56. Juliana

    Kankana…I love polenta but do not cook often… I love your dish, love the polenta topped with shrimps and peas. Absolutely gorgeous!
    Hope you are having a fantastic week :-)

  57. Charissa

    I’ve been wanting to try polenta as a main dish (I usually have it for breaky)! Lovely recipe!

  58. Ann

    Congratulations on making Food Buzz’s Top 9 – this was a beautiful dish!

  59. Shumaila

    Isn’t it nice to have husbands who eat your kitchen failures with such a smile and actually compliment that they are good!Aren’t we lucky!:)

    By the way I have never tried polenta but that looks good! And you made Food Buzz’s Top 9- congratulations!

  60. Kelly

    Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful way to celebrate with such a gorgeous lunch. Love the shrimp (chili, cumin and coriander – wow!) and contrasting green peas over polenta – beautiful!

    • Kankana

      Glad you liked the dish :) It’s not my anniversary today ! I ate polenta for the first time on my Anniversary which was in feb :)

  61. michelle

    Polenta is my new favourite thing to put into everything! This looks ridiculously good. Your pictures are beautiful and bad for dieting :)

  62. Swathi

    Polenta with crispy peas and roasted shrimp looks delicious. Belated anniversary wishes to you and your husband.

  63. Maria @ Scandifoodie

    This looks beautiful! Great flavours :-)

  64. the good soup

    you’ve done well with the polenta Kankana- And no burns? The ‘splatter’ potential of simmering polenta is something cookbooks rarely tell you about, but I’ve had plenty of polka dot burns on my forearms from a pot of cooking polenta!

  65. Joanne

    I am absolutely PASSIONATE about polenta and this sounds like such great way to prepare it! Love that shrimp topping!

  66. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen

    oh how sweet! A dish for you and yours :) I have never had polenta. Looks lovely. You are an artist!

  67. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    These looks so delish – I almost licked my screen! I’ve been fond of pasta for a long time now. And have been itching to taste polenta. This is a perfect recipe. A must try and thanks for sharing :)

    ps: We need to go to Napa Valley. Pronto 😀

  68. Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen

    This looks incredible! I’m in love :)

  69. Manju

    My My! your posts are coming up so quickly before I can catch up with them 😀

    Belated anniversary wishes..what a way to have celebrated it! :) I have a trip planned to Napa valley early next year. Will get in touch with you for more details.

    And the polenta just looks incredible, girl!

  70. Ananda Rajashekar

    Kankana Oh my girl stunning pic, specially corn meal with green leaf ouch beautiful! and very colourful polenta …have had it once want to try ur version! that prawns… stomach is growling!

  71. torviewtoronto

    delicious looking way to have shrimp and polenta

  72. Swati

    Hey! Your recipe reminded me of the Salmon steak served with Peas polenta I had here in Mumbai. I just loved the texture of polenta. Unfortunately I am yet to figure where to source cornmeal from. I had love to cook it at home.