September 10, 2011

Prawns Biryani

Saturday we invited a family friends couple for lunch. They are visiting us for the first time. In fact we have not met each other before. So I was not very sure what to prepare for lunch. I know I cannot make an elaborate lunch with a baby and a boy to be taken care of. But at the same time, I could not settle for a single curry with rice. Then the Biryani came to my rescue. I prepared prawns biryani, mutton curry, rasam and rice. It was a hit. With these items we also had another friends' family for lunch which is totally unplanned. Hence, I love the Biryani :-)

I never thought I would learn to prepare biryani with an ease like I did today. It felt quite good as the end product came out tasty and is liked by everyone :-)
There are many versions of prawns biryani available, but the below recipe is what works for me. It's quick and convenient and there is almost zero chance of something going wrong.

Prawns - 250g
Basmati Rice - 3 cups
Onions - 3 medium sized
Tomato - 2 medium sized
Green chillies - 5
Ginger-Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp

Ghee - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Fresh mint leaves - a handful
Cashew nuts - a handful (soak them in water)
Curd - 1/4 cup

Bay leaves - 3
Start anise - 2
Cardamom - 3
Cinnamon - 2 inch
Clove - 4
Shajeera - 1/4 tsp
Mace - 1/4 tsp

1. Wash and soak rice in warm water for a couple of hours.
2. Chop 1/2 onion length-wise, green chilies and fry in 1/2 tbsp oil and keep aside.
3. In the same pan, add the ghee and fry all the biryani spices and keep aside.
4. Take a thick bottomed pan (I use pressure pan). Add remaining 1 1/2 tbsp oil.
5. Chop the 1 1/2 onion and add to the oil.
6. When onions are caramalized, add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes.
7. Add turmeric powder, salt (just enough for the prawns gravy), red chilly powder, coriander powder and fry for a minute.
8. Add the cleaned prawns, and stir on a medium flame.
9. After a couple of minutes add the finely chopped tomatoes. When the gravy gets thick and starts leaving oil, add the smoothly beaten curd.
10. Add 5 1/2 cups of hot water to the gravy and bring it to boil.
11. Add the fried onions, fried spices, soaked cashews, enough salt for rice.
12. To the boiling water add the soaked basmati rice and close the pan with the lid.
13. Keep high flame for 5 minutes and then medium-low flame for 10 minutes and turn it off.
14. Let it stand for 15 minutes and the yummy biryani is ready to be served.