I am a sea food fan. Prawns always tops the list. Whenever I Visit home my mom preapares prawns curry. But I was not in the mood of having a curry. I wanted to make biryani. Biriyani is used to denote a dish where the rice is cooked separately from the (curry of meat or vegetables). The curry and the rice are then brought together and layered, resulting in a dish of the contrasting flavors of unflavored rice and intensely flavored sauce and meat or vegetables. At my home everybody prefers using chicken for biriyani, So hopes of having prawn biriyani was never materialized. I was searching for a good recipe for a long time. I got this recipe from maria. I prefer more masala in the biriyani. Her recipe was perfect for us. You should visit her lovely space. I have followed her recipe with very few variations here and there. While making biriyani or pulao I always avoid the garnishing layer. I don't prefer corriander leaves in my food. So my readers please feel free to add corriander leaves, fried onions, raisins and toasted cashew nuts and garnish the biriyani. You can serve this along with raita , pappad and pickle.
Slightly adapted from www.mariasmenu.com
For the rice:
Basmati rice – 3 cups
Water – 6 cups
Cardamom & clove – 3 each
Cinnamon – 1 medium size stick
Butter – 3 tbsp (Unsalted)
Salt - To Taste
For the masala :
Prawns – 1/2 kg (cleaned & deviened)
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Chilli powder – 1/2 tbsp
Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Onions – 3, chopped finely
Green chilli -5-6
Tomato – 2-3, chopped finely
Coconut – 1 handful
Curd – 1/2 cup
Cashews – 6-8 (soaked in 2 tbsp water)
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Rice preparation :
Wash and soak the rice in water for 25 minutes. Drain the water completely. Boil 6 cups water with half the quantity of whole masala & keep it aside. Heat butter in a vessel/pan, splutter the remaining whole masala and add the rice. Fry the rice for around 5-7 minutes or until the rice starts cracking. Add the boiled water, & salt. Cook till the rice is done and water is completely dried. Spread the rice in a tray & keep aside.
Masala preparation :
Marinate the prawns with 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, pepper powder and salt and keep it for 2-3 hours in the fridge. Meanwhile grind a handful of coconut with a little water & keep it aside. Also grind the soaked cashews into a smooth paste.
Shallow fry the marinated prawns after the specified time. Once the prawns are fried, keep it aside and use the same oil to cook onions, remaining ginger garlic paste (1 tbsp) and green chilli. Once onions are fried well, add chopped tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are cooked, add curd, coconut, paste. Once it boils add fried prawns and cook in low flame for 5-6 minutes. Add the cashew paste & 1 tsp of garam masala. Mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes & remove from fire.
Layering the Biriyani :
Preheat the oven to 180 degree 10 minutes before baking the biriyani. Apply some ghee to a baking dish. Put one layer of masala in the dish. On top of that spread some rice and make another layer. Again spread another layer of masala on top of the rice. Repeat the process until the masala and rice is finished. The top layer should be of rice. You can drizzle ghee in between the layers. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
Verdict : Strongly reccommended for any sea food lovers.
PS: Maria has suggested to put a wet cloth and cover the biriyani while baking.
I am sending this to The Kerala Kitchen hosted by Magpie