Did I mention earlier that I drool at the mere mention of seafood? Anyway, that’s just one of my weaknesses!
I’m not the kind of cook who believes in slaving over the stove, as much as I love cooking I’m always looking for more and more ways that would help me minimise my time in the kitchen. But once in a blue moon (and I mean blue) I get this urge to make something really elaborate. It was one of those days that I decided to make this prawn biryani because I was having friends over, and the best thing to dig into when you’ve lost count of the number of pegs you’ve had is biryani – it’s delicious, hot and with a dollop of raita, there can’t be a better combination.
So here’s my version of the prawn biryani, which was born after looking at a zillion recipes online and mroe than a dozen videos.
What you need
500 gms of prawns, de-veined and cleaned
2 onions, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp of cashewnuts
1/2 cup of coconut milk
2 red chillies
2 cups of basmati rice, washed and soaked with a dash of lime juice – this helps to keep the rice looking white!
1/2 a fresh lemon
Whole spices: cinnamon, clove, cardamom, mace and star anise
Ghee (okay, use oil if you want to watch your waistline but trust me you will be compromising on the flavour)
Salt to taste
First we need to make the prawn curry
Blend the ginger-garlic and chilli in the mixie and keep it aside. Make a paste using the cashewnuts and a little water, keep this aside too.
In a low-bottom pan, put some ghee and fry the spices in it when they begin releasing the aromas add the onions and saute on a low flame until it’s golden-brown. Now add the tomato, ginger-garlic-chilli paste and fry until it all loses the raw flavour. When the entire thing has cooked well, add the prawns and stir well. Follow with the coconut milk and the cashew paste. Use the cashew paste to thicken your gravy. Season according to your taste and remove from the heat. Tip: Make sure the prawns aren’t completely cooked, because you’ve to cook them again and then you run the risk of them turning rubbery.
Cook the rice with some salt until its three-quarters done.
Now take a big vessel. I used a rice cooker for this. Arrange a layer of rice at the bottom of the vessel and spoon the prawn on this. Add the rest of the rice above this and drizzle some ghee over it. Allow this to cook for about 15 mins, on indirect heat – you can place the covered vessel over a thick tawa on the gas, until the rice is done. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and squeeze lemon juice over it just before serving. Pair this with a simple raita and you’re set!
Note: This isn’t what the biryani looks like, I didn’t have a picture of it so I took a royalty free one from Corbis.