Wednesday, January 26, 2011

prawn biriyani

  • 500 g     Basmati rice
  • 500 g     large prawns shelled and deveined
  • To marinate prawns: 1 cup yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime/ lemon
  • 1/2 tsp   turmeric powder
  • 2 tbs      garlic paste
  • 1 tbp      ginger paste
  • Salt to taste
  • To fry: 4 large onions sliced thinly (divided into 3 equal portions)
  • 3 large tomatoes chopped finely
  • For dry masala/ spice mix
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2" piece of cinnamon
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 pods green cardamom
  • 10-12 black peppercorns
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • For wet masala: 2 green chilies
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • To garnish: 1 tbsp saffron strands
  • 3 tbsps warm milk
  • 3-4 tbsps fresh chopped coriander
  • 4-5 tbsps cooking oil
  • Wash the rice. Soak it in warm water for 30 minutes.
  • Cook the rice till amost done. Drain remaining water (if any) and keep aside.
  • Marinate the prawns in the ingredients mentioned under "To marinate prawns".
  • Heat a griddle or flat pan on a medium flame and gently roast all ingredients mentioned under "For dry masala/ spice mix" till they start to become slightly darker and give off a faint aroma.
  • Peel the cardamom pods and remove seeds. Throw skins away. Now grind all the roasted ingredients to a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder.
  • Grind the ingredients mentioned under "For wet masala", to a smooth paste in a food processor.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a deep pan till hot and then fry 1 of the 3 portions of sliced onions till crispy and golden. When done, drain and remove from the oil and keep aside on paper towels to garnish biryani later.
  • In the same oil, add the remaining sliced onions and fry till soft. Now add the tomatoes and fry till soft.
  • Add all the dry and wet masala ingredients prepared earlier and fry till the oil begins to separate from the whole mix.
  • Now add the prawns and all the marinade to this spice mix. Stir and allow to cook till the prawns are done. Do not overcook as the prawns will get rubbery in texture. Season with salt if required. Remove from fire.
  • Soak the saffron strands in 2-3 tbsps of warm milk.
  • Take a large, deep baking dish/ ovenproof dish (it MUST have its own cover) and grease lightly with cooking oil. Layer the rice and prawn as follows: rice - prawn - rice. End with a layer of rice.
  • Pour the saffron infused milk all over the top of the last layer of rice.
  • Garnish with the crispy fried onions, chopped corainder leaves. Cover the dish and seal tightly.
  • Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes.
  • Serve hot with a raita and green salad of your choice.

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