I am a big fan of biryani. But after moving to Adelaide, this one pot dish had taken a backseat because of the amount of prep work that goes into making a biryani. And then I discovered the magic of cooked prawns available at almost every supermarket here! And voila, biryani became an easy affair and has made a comeback at our dinner table!
I usually do not follow any measurement while making this prawn biryani, I just eyeball the measurements and it somehow turns alright. But this time around I took the effort of noting down the quantities.
250gm prawn cleaned and deveined (if you can source cooked prawns, even better!)
2 cups basmati rice (soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained)
2 onion (medium size, sliced finely)
1 tomato (sliced)
2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
4 green chillies (slit lengthwise)
2 tablespoon fish biryani masala (Eastern brand)
a bunch of mint and coriander leaves (finely chopped)
whole spices- 1 inch cinnamon stick, 1-2 cloves, cardamom pods and 1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon sunflower oil
1-2 tablespoon ghee
Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan. Add onion and saute until it turns translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a couple of minutes till the raw smell disappears. Now add the green chillies and tomato slices and saute for 3-4 minutes till oil oil starts to separate.
Its now time to add the biryani masala and salt and mix well. After a couple of minutes add the mint and coriander leaves and saute for 3-4 minutes. Lastly add prawns, combine well and let sit on medium flame for 5 minutes. Do keep in mind that the cooking time for prawns is way less and it would be ready in just about 5 minutes! Keep aside as it is now time to sort out the rice.
In another deep bottomed vessel, heat up the ghee and add the whole spices. After a minute or so of sauteing, add in the washed and drained basmati rice and saute for 3-4 minutes on low flame. Now, I use a rice cooker (which is the easiest option when it comes to cooking basmati rice, you can never go wrong with a rice cooker!) wherein for one cup of rice, you add 1.5 cups of water. Set it to “cook” mode and you can go make the salad while the rice gets ready.
Now, if you want to cook rice the traditional way, follow the cooking instructions on the rice packet (the amount of water required would depend on the brand of basmati rice you are using). You would require 750ml of water for 400gm rice. Boil water in a saucepan/kettle and add it to the basmati rice and cook on medium flame till done. Add the prawn masala to this cooked rice, combine well and then cook on low flame for about 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with raita and pickle.