I am not writing a lengthy introduction for this post. The recipe itself looks very lengthy, but it is quite easy. When I saw fresh, juicy king prawns in the store, I stopped for a few minutes thinking of a perfect recipe . I wanted to try Prawns biriyani for a long time now, but never got such perfect prawns. I quickly grabbed them and decided to make a malabar style biriyani. This is an adaptation of a recipe from Vanitha (A Popular Women's Magazine in Malayalam).
Cleaned and Peeled King Prawns - 350 gms
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 4-5 cloves (adjust as per size)
Green chillies - 2 or 3 (adjust as per spice level and size)
Onion chopped - 2 big
Tomato chopped - 2
Biriyani Masala or garam masala - 2 tsp (adjust to suit your taste buds)
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Mint leaves - a few, chopped
Coriander leaves - a few, chopped
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
For the Biriyani Rice
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Green cardamom -4
Cinnamon - 2 inch piece
Star anise - 1 small broken to pieces
Onion sliced finely - 1 small
Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Coriander and mint leaves - a handful
Cashew nuts and raisins - as you like :-)
Deep fried onions - a handful
1. Marinate the prawns in turmeric,chilly, coriander powders and salt for half an hour.
2. Grind ginger, garlic and green chilly into a smooth paste with a little water and keep aside.
3. Heat Oil in a pan. Shallow fry the marinated prawns for a few minutes. Drain and keep aside.
4. In the same pan and same oil, saute the onions till they are soft.Add the grounded GGG paste and saute well for a couple of minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are soft.
6. Now add the fried prawns and biriyani masala/ garam masala. Add 1/4 cup of warm water. Cover and cook till prawns are done. Prawns turn hard if overcooked, so keep a close eye on this.
7. Add the lemon juice, pepper powder(add after doing a spice check), mint and coriander leaves and mix well.The gravy should be thick. Now the masala is ready, keep it aside.
Cooking the Rice
1. Heat Ghee in a vessel and add the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Saute for a minute and add the onions. Saute for few minutes.
2. Add the basmati rice and mix well. When the rice starts crackling, add 4 cups of hot water, lemon juice and salt. Note that the salt is only for the rice. We have used salt separately for the masala.
3. Cook till rice is done and the water is dried up.
Layering the Biriyani:
1. Grease the bottom of a non stick/thick bottom vessel with some ghee.
2. Make a layer of biriyani rice. After that make a layer of prawns masala. Repeat this process till the rice and masala is layered completely. The top layer must be of rice.
4. Deep fry sliced onion in oil/ghee and keep aside. Fry cashew nuts and raisins in ghee. Spread the fried onions, cashews and raisins on the layered biriyani.
5. Also add the chopped coriander and mint leaves.
6. Place the vessel on top of stove and lower the flame. Keep it for 5-10 mins.
7. You may also place a pan of boiling water on top of the biriyani vessel so that the heat is from both the sides.
Microwave option: Do the layering in a microwave safe dish and cover with lid. Microwave it for 2-3 minutes.
Serve hot with raitha, papad and chutney.