Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Absolute Rookie Prawn Biryani

Now this one was really made on the go! I had absolutely no idea which way was this recipe heading to. I had a bag of frozen, headless Pacific White prawns, a can of coconut milk from a Thai store and Indian Basmati rice, which was “Made in Texas”!

How could I possibly go wrong if I set off to make Prawn Biryani with such gourmet ingredients. The only problem was – I had no recipe or notes from my Mum to fall back on. Plus I had never had Prawn Biryani ever, so relying on my own taste buds was not an option either.

But I had the courage of my own culinary convictions. So I set out into mixing flavors and recreating some tastes, cautiously taking measured mental notes of the ingredients lest I forgot when I chronicled it for you…

Ingredients for the Prawn Biryani are:

One and half cups Basmati rice, washed, then sieved for 30 minutes
500 grams prawns/ shrimps (they were already deveined, but with shells on which I removed, so my guess is after the cleaning up, they would be about 400 gms)
One tennis ball-size red onion finely sliced
7-8 cloves of garlic
Two inch piece of root ginger
Handful of green chilies
Handful of coriander leaves
Few drops of lemon juice
One heaped teaspoon of red chili powder
One teaspoon of turmeric powder (heaped if you love turmeric)
One teaspoon of black pepper powder
One cup coconut milk (I used the thick, creamy variety)
Two tablespoons vegetable oil
Two cardamoms (green and black)
One inch stick of cinnamon
Two bay leaves
One star anise (its okay if you don’t have it)
Half teaspoon of black cumin seeds
Little piece of nutmeg grated

IMG_6774In a bowl, marinate the prawns with the red chili powder and turmeric and a few drops of lemon juice. IMG_6775In a frying pan, heat one tablespoon oil and fry the sliced onions. Grind the ginger and garlic (together) in a paste and make a smooth chutney with the coriander leaves and green chilies (separately). When the onions start turning brown, add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Now add the coriander-chili chutney. Sauté for 3-4 minutes on low-medium heat. Add the prawns and mix well. Add black pepper powder and salt, stir for a few minutes on the same heat and remove when the prawns start turning pink/orange at the tails. Prawns take very little time to cook and overcooking them is such a blasphemy!
IMG_6777 IMG_6779 IMG_6780 IMG_6781 IMG_6782 In another frying pan, heat the remaining one tablespoon vegetable oil, add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, black cumin seeds, star anise and stir for a minute. Add the rice and fry till the grains get coated with the oil. Add the grated nutmeg (about a pinch), and salt (carefully as our prawns already have some). Fry for 3-4 minutes and remove from heat.
IMG_6783 IMG_6784In a microwave safe bowl, add the rice, cooked prawns, one cup of thick coconut milk and one cup plus two tablespoons of water. Make sure you use the same measuring cup for the rice, coconut milk and water!
IMG_6785Give all the ingredients in the bowl a quick stir and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave the Prawn Biryani for 20 minutes. Check and adjust the seasoning if needed. Let it sit for about an hour before you serve.
IMG_6786IMG_6787 IMG_6795 IMG_6796 I served it with some chopped greens and a glass of cool iced tea. And yes, its okay to reheat this dish in the microwave before you eat.
IMG_6792This Prawn Biryani is a big revelation for me, and I am still savoring it because that’s all there is to it!


Sharmila said...

I have cooked prawn and rice in coconut milk (i think i've posted it too) ... but with far lesser ingredients as I like to have the coconut flavour in the rice. Yours looks so good! :-)

The knife said...

wow ...what all do you do in an alien land

I am planning to make a veg Thai curry (an Oxymoron) with no recipe, shrimp paste, or fish oil...wish me the best

And making your mishti pulao for ten. if it doesn't work out then Kosha mangsho and Atkins

PreeOccupied said...

@Sharmila, thank you. Hope you are feeling better.

@The Knife, Atkins ta aabar ki? Shrimp paste diye Thai curry ta beshi tasty hobe, na? I will look forward to your recipe.

The knife said...

Atkins... no carbs ;)

Actaully its a pulao, kosha mangsho, kebab ma pateta and paratha party.

The mushroom curry is for the two vegetarians

M said...

Hi Pree! Glad I found your blog! I made your shrimp biryani for few of my friends! Made it exactly you wrote in ur blog! It came out amazing! Everyone loved it! My husband loved it soo much that he asked me to make it again this weekend!! Thanks a lot for the amazing recipe!!

Wit,wok and wisdom said...

I absolutely admire the novelty of this wonderful dish!The prawn buff that my husband is,I'm sure he'll be thrilled when someday I can cook this dish for him.Fantastic recipe and lovely presentation to go with it!:)


MY LIFE, MY PETS said...

Went to Gariahat market to buy the ingredients. Facebook mobile refused to load SEARCH! Now I'm back without star anise. Anyway, still going ahead with the cooking...!

shan she said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pree Basu said...

@Shan She: replying to your q. Go ahead and do it. Do retain the shells and you will get a good flavor. If you are NOT using coconut milk, for 2 cups of rice, use 3 and two-third cups of water. Hope this helps.

shan she has left a new comment on your post "Absolute Rookie Prawn Biryani":

Pree , the dish so looks delicious.My mouth is watering just by looking at it.I have all the ingredients but coconut you think it would taste good without coconut milk?