Chemmeen Kizhi Biriyani
Today I have a lip-smacking biriyani recipe to share with you all. My regular viewers might have noticed that I am posting more of seafood recipes nowadays. My husband Akhil had an ayurvedic treatment for back pain while we were in Kerala because of which he has to take ayurvedic medicines for 3 months and has to avoid poultry and meat during that time. Since he can take seafood during lunchtime, I have been experimenting on them for a while.
In this recipe, the ghee rice and prawn masala are cooked separately, assembled in a banana leaf, wrapped and cooked on dum. This biriyani has a very nice flavor from the plantain leaf. I guarantee you’ll love it..Happy cooking!
Eid Mubarak to all my readers!!
Ingredients (Serves 6)
1. Prawns – 1/2 kg (Around 35 – 40 medium or large)
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1/2 tsp
Salt – As required
2. Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
3. Onion – 2.5 cups, thinly sliced and halved
4. Ginger – 1 – 1.5 inch, chopped
Garlic – 7 large cloves, chopped
Green chilies, medium spicy – 6, chopped
5. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
6. Tomato – 2 small, chopped
7. Cashews – 1.5 tbsp
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
Cilantro / coriander leaves – 1/4 cup
Mint leaves – 10 – 15
Yoghurt – 2 tbsp
8. Garam masala powder – 1 – 1.5 tsp or to taste
Lemon juice – 1/2 tsp
9. Salt – To taste
10. Biriyani rice / kaima rice – 3 cups, rinsed and drained
11. Ghee – 2 – 3 tbsp
12. Whole spices – cardamom – 5, cloves – 8, cinnamon sticks – two 1/2 inch pieces, bay leaves – 2 – 3
Salt – To taste
Hot water – 6 cups
Other ingredients – for assembling
13. Fried onion – 3/4 cup
Fried cashews and raisins – 3 tbsp each
Cilantro / coriander leaves – 1/2 cup, chopped
Mint leaves – 1/4 cup, chopped
Saffron – 1 pinch in 1/4 cup hot water
Rose water – 3 drops (Add 3 drops of rose water to saffron water)
1. Marinate the prawns with the remaining ingredients numbered 1. Set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Grind ginger, garlic and green chilies to a coarse mixture and set aside.
3. Grind soaked cashews, grated coconut, mint, coriander leaves and yoghurt to a fine paste and set aside.
4. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil + 2 tbsp ghee in a pan at medium heat. Saute onion adding little salt until transparent. Add ginger-garlic-green chilly mixture. Saute until the onion mixture turns light brown and their raw smell and taste disappears completely. Add turmeric powder and chilly powder. Cook for a minute. Add chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook for a few minutes tomato turns mushy and oil separates. Add cashew-yoghurt paste. Mix well and cook for a few minutes. Add marinated prawns, salt and mix well. Cook covered for 8 – 10 minutes stirring occasionally until prawns are done and gravy is thick. Add garam masala powder. Mix well and switch off. Sprinkle a tbsp of chopped mint and cilantro. Set aside.
5. Meanwhile heat ghee in a pan/pressure cooker at medium heat. Add whole spices numbered 12 and stir until fragrant. Next add drained jeerakashala rice and fry for 3 – 4 minutes at medium-low heat. Add hot water, salt and bring to a boil. Taste-check for salt. The water should be slightly salty. Cover and cook until done. Switch off. Open the lid after 8 – 10 minutes. Fluff gently.
6. Clean a few banana/plantain leaves (if the banana leaves are small, you may need 5 – 6) and wipe well. Place them over flame to make them soft and pliable (vazhayila vaattuka). Place 1/2 cup cooked rice (you can add more if the banana leaf is large) in the middle of the banana leaf. Top it with 4 – 5 pieces of shrimp masala. Top it with 1 cup of hot cooked rice followed by fried onions, cashews, raisins, chopped mint, and cilantro. Sprinkle some saffron water. Tie it tightly like a kizhi using a vazhanaru or a thin muslin cloth. Repeat until the rice and shrimp masala are used completely. (I used small rectangular plantain leaves so I wrapped and placed them inside an aluminium foil and wrapped them again tightly.)
7. Meanwhile fill the steamer / idli cooker with enough water. Bring it to a boil. Place the vazhayila kizhis (few at a time depending on the size of the vessel) inside the steamer and steam cook the biriyani for about 8 – 10 minutes. Take it outside and serve after 10 minutes. Serve with biriyani chammathi, dates lemon pickle, raita (recipe below) and pappadam.
Restaurant style raita
Red onion – 3 tbsp, chopped
Tomato, firm – 1 medium, cut into very small pieces
Cucumber – 1/2 cup, cut into small pieces
Coriander leaves/ cilantro – 2 tbsp, chopped
Yoghurt – 1 cup or as required
Chat masala – 1/8 tsp or to taste
Sugar – 1/2 tsp or to taste
Salt – To taste
Combine all the above ingredients. Serve with biriyani.