Prawn / Chemmeen Biriyani
Ingredients ( Serves 3 – 4)
- Prawns – 30 – 35 ( Around 400 g)
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Chilly powder – 1 tsp
- Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – As required
For the masala
- Onion – 1 large, thinly sliced
- Tomato – 1 medium, chopped
- Fresh ginger-garlic paste – 2 – 3 tsp
- Green chillies – 7 – 8, seeded
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
- Chilly powder – 1/4 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2tsp
- Garam masala – 1.5 tsp
- Mint leaves – 1/4 cup, chopped
- Cilantro – 1/4 cup, chopped
- Salt – To taste
- Oil – As required
1. Clean and wash the prawns. Marinate the prawns with the ingredients under marinade for at least 2 hrs in a refrigerator. Shallow fry the marinated prawns in oil until done. It won’t take more than 3 – 4 minutes on each side, at medium-low heat. Drain on to a paper towel.
2. In the same pan, add thinly sliced onions. Stir-fry until they turn light brown at medium heat. Now add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies. Stir fry for a few more minutes. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Stir-fry for a few seconds and add the chopped tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes get mashed up. Now add 1/2 cup water and mix well. Bring to a boil and add the fried prawns. Cook for a minute and add the chopped cilantro and mint. Taste check for salt. Switch off.
Basmati rice – 2 cups
To cook rice I usually follow the draining method. Soak the basmati rice for around 30 mts. Drain and keep aside. Boil water in a deep vessel. To the boiling water add ghee – 2 tsp, whole spices (peppercorns- 10, cloves – 6, cardamoms – 2, bay leaves-2, cinnamon – 2, fennel seeds – half tsp, star anise- 2 and mace – 3). I usually add lots of whole spices. Add enough salt. The water should be slightly salty. Now add the soaked rice and cook it to the perfect consistency. It will take around 15 – 20 mts at medium heat. Drain the water and allow the rice to cool.
Onion – 1 medium, sliced very thin and deep fried in oil/ghee till brown
Cashews and raisins – 1/4 cup deep-fried in oil / ghee
Cilantro – 1/2 cup
Mint – 1/2 cup
For layering you need a cookware which can be put on stove or which is oven-safe.
Smear the base of the cookware with ghee. Then add the fried onions, cilantro, cashews, raisins, mint leaves and prawn masala. Now add the cooked rice and repeat the process. You can sprinkle some fennel powder or biriyani masala and a little ghee on each layer. The topmost layer should be that of rice with the items under garnish. Now seal the cookware with an aluminium foil (so that moisture won’t escape), cover with its lid and bake it at 350 F for around 10 – 15 mts (depending on the cookware you use). If you are planning to keep it for long, cook the rice only till it is 95% done or so. If you are using stovetop keep it at low flame for around 5 – 10 mts. Serve hot with boiled eggs, biriyani chammanthi, raita, pappad and lemon pickle. This recipe serves around 3-4 people.