Sunday, April 3, 2011

Prawn Biryani

I decided to give my husband a surprise a few days back by cooking one of his favorite dishes. Wanting to make something authentic, something reminiscent of the taste he grew up with I decided to go with – Prawn biryani. I had recently laid my hands on a traditional cutchi memon cook book by Hajira Mohammad and was waiting to try one of the recipes from there. I made a few modifications to the book’s version with inputs from my mother in law, so about 85% of the following recipes is Hajira’s. The result was quite spectacular, husband enjoyed it thoroughly and a new recipe made its way into my bank.

Will keep posting more recipes from the book.


For masala

1 kg Prawns
1 cup Oil
4 large onions
1 1/2 tbsp Ginger paste
1 1/2 tbsp garlic paste
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tbsp salt
3 large tomatoes roasted , skinned and pureed
1 tbsp fresh coconut paste

Grind to paste

5 green chillies
1 cup coriander leaves chopped
2 tbsp water


1 kg basmati rice
8 mint leaves
4 tbsp sea salt

For layering

Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp saffron strands soaked in milk


·         Shell and de-vein the prawns. Marinate the same in 4table spoon lemon juice

·         Wash and soak the rice for 30 mins 

·         Fry the onions in a heavy bottomed pan till golden broown ( the edges should start getting crispy)

·         Add ginger and garlic and fry well for about 15 mins . Sprinkle water if required

·         Add all the spice powders, spice paste and salt and fry for about 10 mins

·         Pour in the tomato puree and cook till raw smell is gone

·         Meanwhile prebiol the prawns in 3 cups water for about 3 mins

·         Add the prebioled prawns to the gravy and stir in for 3 mins

·         Add the coconut and continue stirring till the gravy just about begins leaving oil on the side.

·         Boil the rice with sea salt and mint leavestill its about 85-90 % done. Drain the watyer and start assembly


·         Place a flat skillet (tava) on the stove

·         Place a large vessel on top of it and start layering the rice

·         Spread  half the  rice in the vessel

·         Add a layer of prawn gravy and then spread the rest of the rice (Sandwiching the prawns between two layers of rice)

·         Sprinkle some cilantro, drizzle the rest of the lime juice and the saffron milk.

·         Cook on high for 5 mins and for medium for 15 mins