Basmati rice- 1 kg
Medium sized prawns- 1/2 kg
Salt to taste
Chili powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Onion- 1 kg
Tomato (chopped)- 2 large
Green chili (crushed)- 2
Garlic (crushed)- 2 tbsp
Ginger (crushed)-1 tbsp
Garam masala- 2 tsp
Lime juice- 2 tbsp
Coriander powder- 2 tbsp
Coriander and mint leaves (chopped)- a handful
Sunflower oil- for basic frying
Ghee- 100 gms
Elaichi powder- 1/4 tsp
To prepare the masala:
– In sunflower oil, sautee 1/2 kg from the 1kg of onion till golden brown.
-Add 1 tsp from the 2 tsps of garam masala, turmeric powder, chili powder and sautee. Make sure the masala powders are cooked thoroughly before adding the crushed ginger, garlic and green chili.
– Once the masalas are cooked, add the crushed ginger, green chili and garlic
– Add the chopped tomato
– Once the tomato has softened enough to melt, add the prawns and add lime juice.
(Tip: this is where the taste is enhanced double time! DO NOT FRY the prawns separately! Adding them into the masala raw not only makes it softer, but also helps it’s prawny juices permeate into the rice and add on extra bags of flavor!)
– Cover and cook until till the prawns are cooked through and oil is visible atop the prawn masala.
– Add mint and coriander leaves to this mixture.
– Cover and cook on low flame until completely done.
To make the garnish:
– In another frying pan, heat oil and fry the remaining onions till partially crispy and caramelized.
– Add elaichi powder and the remaining garam masala and mix well.
– Remove from the pan and drain the excess oil off.
To cook the rice: (no we did not forget the newbie cooks! Here are the basics of cooking rice)
– Wash and drain the rice
(Tip: the basic measurement for rice is 2 cups of water to cook 1 cup of rice)
– In a pressure cooker, sautee the rice in a ghee
– Add 2 cups of water boiled with salt into the cooker
– Close and cook for exactly 7 minutes without the weights.
– Once you see steam cominf through, put on the weight, switch off stove and keep it closed.
-After exactly 5 minutes, transfer the rice onto a plate.
(Tip: exact timings ensure that the rice is cooked perfectly and each grain remains separate. If you go beyond 5 minutes, you are sure to have mushy rice!)
Arranging the Biriyani:
– In a casserole or serving tray, spread the prawn masala at the bottom, followed by rice, prawn again and then rice and so on.
– Rice needs to be the final layer. Spread the fried onions atop the rice.
Serve piping hot with chilled raita, dates pickle and papad. Enjoy!
(Tip: you can add cashewnuts and sultanas atop the final layer to some sweetness and crunch. Simply sauté the cashews and sultanas in a little ghee and spread along with the onions)