Thursday, 2 September 2010

Prawn Biryani

Making a biryani is such a tedious job for me....but eating it is something I'd like to do any given time or day. Unfortunately for me, there is no one to serve it on a platter and if I'm craving it, I need to get off my lazy ass and make it on my own. When we were in Chennai we had a tradition of having beer and biryani on Sunday afternoons. Didn't really have to slog it out because we had an awesome cook (Asha) whose speciality was chicken biryani. We used sit out on the balcony glugging down mugs of beer and then dive into the steaming biryani Asha used to make, without any qualms.

Here, the story is different. Sunday lunch is usually left overs from Saturday brunch or when we are so craving a biryani, we both split the job and make a rather biriyani-ish kinda dish while glugging beer or cider simultaneously and then sit down and eat it with half an appetite because you are already famished after all that cleaning, chopping and cooking. It somehow ends up tasting a 100 times better when and if we have it again for dinner :)

I have a standard chicken biryani recipe which I somehow managed to whip up from here and there, and religiously follow. In spite of noting down intricate details, I have still managed to screw it up- more like a biryani sadam a lot of times. Same has happened with prawn biryani too, but this time, even though it almost gave me a scare half way through, it turned out pretty decent. If i had been a bit more patient, I'm sure I could have hit the right spot. Nevertheless, the recipe is a keeper and I had to jot it down before I forgot.

We paired it with a glass of Chianti red wine and loved the outcome.
And before I forget, here's a biiiiiiiiiig thank you to all you guys who sent in those lovely comments about my blog header..I'm thrilled :)
For the rice:
Basmati rice- 1 1/4 cup
Cardamom pods- 3
Cinnamon- 1 inch stick
Cloves- 3
Bay leaf- 1
Lime juice
Ghee- 1 tbsp
Boiling water- 2 cups (approx)
Salt- to taste

To marinate:
Jumbo Prawns- 250 gms, deveined and cleaned
Chilli powder- 1/4 tsp
Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Lime juice- 1/2 tsp
Salt- to taste

Onions- 3, medium size, finely chopped
Tomatoes- 2, finely chopped
Green chillies- 2, slit
Ginger paste- 1 tbsp
Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
Chilli powder- 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder- 1/4 tsp
Garam masala- 3/4 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves- 1/4 cup + enough to garnish, cleaned and roughly chopped 
Mint leaves- 1/4 cup, cleaned and roughly chopped
Yogurt- 2 tbsp
Salt- to taste
Oil- 2 tbsp
Marinate the prawns with all the ingredients under the 'to marinate' section and keep aside for at least 30 minutes.
Also wash and soak the basmati rice. Keep aside.
(In the mean time you can chop the onions, tomatoes, mint and coriander leaves)
In a heavy bottomed pan (with lid), heat the ghee and splutter the spices- cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and bay leaves till nice and fragrant.
Drain the rice and add to the ghee. Fry on medium heat till they start spluttering a bit.
Add the boiling water to this, add salt and lemon juice and close the lid.
Cook till about 3/4th done...about 8 minutes as per my timing.
Drain using a colander and set aside.

In the same deep pan, heat the oil and add the onions. Sauté till they are translucent..about 6 to 7 minutes.
Throw in the green chillies and the ginger and garlic paste. Mix well and sauté till the raw smell disappears.
Add the tomatoes and sauté again till it all becomes a mushy paste like consistency.
Add the powders- chilli, coriander, garam and pepper powders and salt and mix well. Saute on medium heat till the oil starts separating.
Throw in the marinated prawns at this time and mix well to coat the prawns with the masala.
Add the yogurt, coriander and mint leaves and little water and mix well till they are all combined well.
Close the lid and cook on medium heat till the prawn is cooked through...about 6 to 7 minutes max.
If there is too much gravy, then leave the lid open and cook on high heat for a few more minutes.
Now comes the assembling bit...tip in the entire cooked rice onto the top of the prawn gravy, spread it around well, throw in some coriander leaves on top and cover with a tight lid.
Keep the heat to very low and cook till you see steam rising from the top. I keep it this way for about 15 minutes.
When you are ready to serve, either mix well, or dig right to the bottom and serve a ladle full, garnished with coriander leaves.
Serve with pappad, raita and lime pickle.
Notes: You can do the same in an oven as well...keep it for about 30 minutes or so...
I don't do the proper dum method, because i find this much more convenient

Sending this to the Festive rice event over at Torviewtoronto


Suji said...

Nisha...Biriyani looks yumm yumm, i love the color..

Lov ethe mint leaves picture, truely gorgeous da...

Would you mind telling me which camera you use?

Torviewtoronto said...

Looks and sounds delicious
Check out the event in my site

Satya said...

biryani looks awesome


Unknown said...

The dish sounds truely delicious...I make prawn fried rice...but never tried biriyani with prawns....bookmarked....have to try it soon..

Tanvi said...

Thats one yummy looking biryani!!

Satrupa said...

I liked your write up ........ I can totally imagine that ! N the prawn biriyani is perfect. Lovely Clicks too ......

Cheers n Happy Cooking,

Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) said...

flavorful n yum

Priyanka said...

I have no words to describe how much I love Prawns Biryani. It is the ultimate comfort food for me!

Puja said...

Lovely n delicious looking Biryani!!

Unknown said...

I luv prawns...never tried it in biriyanis...urs make me crave for some now :)

Fathima said...

Perfect Biryani... Love the clicks!

Monet said...

Sadly I've never even tried Biryani. What a shame, I know! After seeing this recipe and all your lovely photographs, I want to try making some of my own this weekend. Thank you for sharing!

notyet100 said...

cute header,..biryani looks yum,.:-)

Sanchita said...

Yes, I know biriyani is a lot of hardwork! I love the mint leaves photo. Really lovely. :)and the blog header looks great!

Sreelekha Sumesh said...

My fav biriyani.looks so delicious!

Priya Suresh said...

Anything with prawns are always my fav...tempting biryani..

Prerna@IndianSimmer said...

OMG! Everytime I visit your blog you amaze me with both your recipes n photography. I LOVE prawns n I LOVE biryani but can you believe I've never tried making both of them together?
Thanks for sharing!

Srivalli said...

Seriously tempting pictures!..though I happen to be a veg..:)

Torviewtoronto said...

thank you for sending

Namitha said...

Awesome..Loved the clicks too :-)

Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi said...

great looking biriyani Nisha. I also love to eat biriyanis when its made by others but never get such chance. looks delish.

Akila said...

really a mouthwatering briyani...

Sushma Mallya said...

Lovely clicks nisha,am yet to try biryani with prawns and this one looks mouthwatering...

Shabs.. said...

I too loved ur looks so good....may be you can make the title a bit more bigger? and change the colour of the title as that is not very prominant among those beautiful pics...pinney, i shud tell ya, ur pics are geting real good nish...
I really liked thway u styled ur biriyani....but i think, If i were you, I would have something poured in the glass may be?...dono..loved the last pic much.....i too make the masala quite similar way..:)

BTW, there was offer for cherries in tesco's yday. I bout a kilo for £6 which i thought wass cheaper at the it and freeze it for later use if u can get hold of some...

Kulsum@JourneyKitchen said...

Prawn Biryani! Give me some of that! thanks for posting the recipe and loving your header and pictures:)

Sweet Artichoke said...

How did I miss this post?
A very tempting recipe! (I cannot resist prawns...) and gorgeous pics! I love Italian wines with Indian food, too ;-)

Unknown said...

Oh love briyani too special the next day, god know why it taste so much better, wonderful click of mint leaves and that wine is good wine too looks like you had a great lunch....Yum! am hungry! :D

Suja Manoj said...

Delicious and mouthwatering..lovely clicks too..
lovely header..looks so good

Afsal_ Alif said...

The Biryani Rice looks a líl bit mashed up.....but loved your writing......! Cheers...!!

Nielouphar (Neelu) said...

I've always thought of using mint leaves in my chemmeen biryani. Should give it a try soon :)