For the final day under Biryanis, I made Prawns Biryani. I already have a version of Prawn Biryani, and wanted to try different cuisine. Today’s version is from Kerala cuisine. It’s also called as the Shrimp or Chemeen Biryani. I landed here and almost followed the recipe. Since I was cooking along with Amma, I was able to follow the instructions, else I can never keep up with one.
Prawn Biryani will always remind me of Amma’s lost recipe. During our initial years of marriage, Amma used to make a prawn biryani, and Hubby dear used to love it. Somehow she stopped making that version and suddenly she forgot how she used to make it. However much she tried, she simply couldn’t remember and we sadly concluded that that recipe is lost forever. So I try other versions in the vain hope to arrive at that recipe again!
Prawns / Shrimp / Chemeen Biriyani
For the rice:
Basmati rice – 3 cups
Water – 6 cups
Cardamom & clove – 6 each
Cinnamon – 1 medium size stick
Ghee – 3 tbsp
Lemon Juice – 2 tbsp
For the masala:
Prawns – 1/2 kg (cleaned & deviened)
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Chilli powder – 1/2 tbsp
Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Onions – 3, chopped finely
Green chili -5-6
Tomato – 2-3, chopped finely
Coconut – 1 handful
Coriander leaves – 1 handful
Curd – 1/2 cup
Cashews – 6-8 (soaked in 2 tbsp water)
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Cashews – handful
Onion – 1 medium, sliced finely
Ghee – 1 tbsp
How to make the Prawns Biryani
For Rice preparation:
Wash and soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain the water completely. Bring to boil 6 cups water with half the quantity of the whole masala, keep it aside.
Meanwhile, heat ghee in a nonstick pan, add the remaining whole masala and add the drained rice. Fry the rice for around 5 minutes or until the rice starts cracking.
Add the boiled water, lemon juice & salt. Cook till the rice is done and water is completely dried. Spread the rice in a tray & keep aside.
For Prawns Masala preparation:
Marinate the prawns with 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, pepper powder, and salt and keep it for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
Meanwhile, grind together with a handful of coconut & coriander leaves with a little water & keep it aside. Also, grind the soaked cashews into a smooth paste.
Shallow fry the marinated prawns when you are ready to make the biryani. Once the prawns are fried, keep it aside and use the same oil to cook onions, remaining ginger garlic paste, and green chili.
Once onions are fried well, add chopped tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are cooked, add curd, coconut, coriander leaves paste.
Once it boils add fried prawns and cook on low flame for 5-6 minutes. Add the cashew paste & 1 tsp of garam masala. Mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes & remove from fire.
For the Garnishing:
Heat ghee in a pan and fry the cashews and onions till it becomes golden brown. Drain the excess ghee in a paper towel & keep it aside.
Layering the Biriyani:
In a greased pressure cooker, layer the biryani. First layer with rice, followed with prawns masala, then fried cashews and onions, Repeat the layers, making sure the top layer is rice.
Cover with the lid and ensure it’s tight. Place this on a tawa, and simmer for 20 – 30 mins.
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