November 23, 2009

Shrimp Biryani ~ Mom's style!!

 Eid is here and I just wanted to break from the usual routine of Mutton,Chicken and Beef Biriyani's. But it still had to Biriyani..Biriyani on Eid is like the Sadya on Onam..Like the Turkey on Thankgiving and the Wine on Christmas!! A MUST!!!
So the choice fell between Fish Biriyani or Shrimp Biriyani ! My hubby not a big fan od Fish so u know who ultimately won ! yes!! Shrimp Biriyani!! So I called up a very experienced professional cook to get the recipe. It wasn easy getting hold of her! Every time I tried the line was busy,
 finally when I got thru "She is not here, she will be back in a while" Disappointment!
But no.... I am not giving up.. I want her recipe.. I know its the best.. I will keep trying to get her.
 After a while I tried again " She is int he kitchen, and cant come to the phone right now! "
I wasnt going to give up that easily.. I said "This is really important, I need to talk to her".
Finally, on the other side, I could hear a very familiar and very loving voice.."Entha mole! Paal Thilapikernnu..athan veran pattahe irunnath"... MY MOMMY!!!
What..did I mislead you..Did u thihnk I was talking to some 5 star chef???
Well..she is my 5 star chef and my source for cooking"

Yes..Yes.. I did get the recipe.I will give it to you. Have some patience baba!!


 For marinating:
  • Cleaned Shrimp/Prawn 1/2 kg. ( If you have the head of the shrimp, keep aside a few to make the stock)
  •  2 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • oil for frying prawns.
For the gravy:

  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 2 medium size tomatoes chopped (1 1/4 cup, 290 gm)
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 -3 green Chillies grinded to paste ( You can grind the ginger,garlic and chilies together)
  • 3 tbsp ginger chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup shrimp stock ( optional, made by boiling the head of the shrimp and water. Strain and use)
  • 1/4 tbsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tbsp corriander powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chilie powder ( depending on your taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves chopped
  • salt as required
11/2 tbsp grounded masala using :
  •            1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  •            1/2 tsp cumin seeds.
  •            5 cloves
  •            2-3 small stick of cinnamom
  •            1 cardamom
  •            1 bay leaf ( medium size)
  •            1 piece mace
  •            1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

For the Rice:

  • 3 cups Basmati rice soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 6 cups boiling water 
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp shahi jeera
  • 1 cardamom
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 small cinnamom stick 
  • salt as needed
  • 1 green chillie spilt.

Marintae the shrimp with the ingredients under marination and keep aside for 15-30 minuites.
In a large non stick pan, heat some oil and when the oil is hot add the prawns and fry them till they are light brown in color. Remove and keep them aside.

Making the gravy:
  •  In the same pan that you fried the shrimp, add the onions and fry it till it is really soft.
  • Add the ginger,garlic and chillie paste and fry for 3-4  minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute till it is soft.
  • Add the chilie powder, turmeric powder corriander powder and 1 1/2 tsp of grounded garam masala. Mix.
  • Add the 1/4 cup of shrimp stock and 2 tbsp of yogurt. If not using the stock just add 1/4 cup water, the stock gives it a more shrimp flavor and fragrance.
  • Cook till the gravy becomes thick.  Add the fried prawns and cover the pan and cook on low flame for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped corriander and mint leaves Mix till everything comes together. Remove from flame and keep aside covered.

For the Rice:
  • In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil/Ghee .
  • Add the onions and cook till it is translucent. Add all the whole masalas add fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the rice and fry till 2-3 minutes on low flame and stirring continuously.
  • Add the boiling water and cook on high till the water starts to boil again.
  • When the water starts to boil, reduce the flame to low medium, and cook the rice covered  until all the water is gone and the rice is cooked around 20 minutes.

For layering and cooking:

  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Take a large heavy bottomed vessel and spread 1 tbsp oil/ghee at the bottom.
  • Add half the cooked rice and spread.
  • Add the shrimp gravy on top of the rice.
  • Add the remaining rice on top of the gravy and just drizzle around a tbsp of lemon juice on top of this rice and also drizzle a tbsp of oil/ghee on top of this rice.
  • Cover with a tight lid and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Remove and let it cool down for a while.
While serving, Just break the rice from one side..mix it gently and transfer to the serving plate.
Serve it with nice mango chamanthi, raita, pappadam and pickles. I am planning to serve Chicken Tikka BBQ also!

My son loved it. Proof!!!
Have a wonderful day!!

Also try
 Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani,
Poato pulao,