Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Shrimp biryani (Konju Biryani)

If you are a regular reader of my blog, it will not surprise you to know that my favorite biryani (roasted and layered rice dish) is Shrimp biryani. This would naturally be the choice of a seafood lover. There are numerous kinds of biryanis out there; vegetable, chicken, mutton, beef, fish etc. Each one of them tastes sinfully delicious. Anything delicious is usually time consuming. Shrimps are very easy to cook. So this is one of those dishes that you can whip up in a jiffy comparitively. I am very unconventional when it comes to making this biryani in the sense that I try to restrict my use of spices in the dish. The best part of this biryani is the flavor and aroma of the shrimps. It is very crucial that this part is not compromised. Subtleness in the use of spices is very important. 

I would like to start this year with this one pot dish and I dedicate it to the memory of my mom and dad. I will miss cooking for them...

Basmati rice-1 Cup
Oil-1 tbsp
Cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, bay leaf-as required

Shrimp-250 gms

Ginger-garlic paste-1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder-1 tsp
Coriander powder-1 tsp
Oil-1/2 cup
Fennel seeds-one pinch
Cinnamon, cloves cardamom- as required

Yogurt-1/2 cup

Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Green chillies-2 (deseeded and sliced)
Coriander leaves- 1 small bunch (chopped)
Mint leaves- 1 small bunch (chopped)
Onion-2 (sliced thin and fried to golden brown)
Fried cashews and raisins-as required

Soak the rice for 10 mins. Boil water in a large pot. Meanwhile  clean the shrimp and marinate it with salt, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, chilly and coriander powders.

To the boiling water, add the oil, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, salt and previously soaked basmati rice. Cook the rice 90%. Drain the water and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add the fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Fry the shrimp in batches so that it is browned on both sides but not cooked completely. Drain them out on to a paper towel.
To the remaining oil, add the yogurt, turmeric powder, salt, green chillies, half of the coriander leaves, mint leaves and fried onions. Then add fried shrimp and mix well. Layer this with previously cooked rice. Top it with the remaining coriander and mint leaves, fried cashews and raisins. Cover it with an air tight lid and cook for another 5-10 mins. Switch off the stove. After 10 mins open the lid and mix the layers together and serve immediately. Enjoy this flavorful dish with a side dish of your choice. 

1. I use only one each of cloves and cardamom and a very tiny
    piece of cinnamon. Use according to your taste.
2. If you like more spiciness, increase the quantity of chilly
    powder. Deseeding the green chillies can be avoided too.
3. You can replace yogurt with tomatoes.


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