The prawns were marinated with the green masala for 30 minutes. Sliced onions were caramelized, spices were added and the prawns along with the paste were partially cooked. Simultaneously, rice was cooked halfway through and topped over the prawn mixture. Garnished with caramelized onions and kept on low heat (dum) for 15 minutes till the rice was cooked to perfection. Unlike chicken or mutton biryani, this prawn biryani cooks in no time. The prawns flavour the dish and with the addition of green herb paste including saffron, this biryani is tasty and delicious.
In Hindi, bas stands for "fragrance" and mati is "full of". Hence, basmati means "full of fragrance". Basmati rice is commonly used to prepare pulao and biryani. It is available in white and brown varieties. The brown basmati rice has its outer bran layer and hence, contains more fibre, nutrients, fat and protein than the white variety. Basmati rice has a low glycemic index and better to control blood glucose levels. It contains two B vitamins; thiamine and niacin valuable for metabolism. What's important when eating rice is to exercise portion control.
2 cups basmati rice
400 gms prawns (shelled and deveined)
2 onions (sliced)
2 medium tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds or shahjeera
1 bay leaf
3 cinnamon sticks (1.5" each)
4 green cardamoms
1 tablespoon garam masala powder
juice of 1/2 a lemon
a pinch of saffron heated in 1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup melted ghee
1 bouillon cube (10 g)
Grind to a paste (with little water)
1 and 1/2 cups coriander leaves
1 cup mint leaves
4 long green chillies
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 large cloves of garlic
1/2" piece of ginger
Wash, pat dry prawns, marinate with the ground green paste and salt for 30 minutes.
Soak rice in water for 30 minutes.
In a deep wide bottomed pan, heat oil and fry onions till golden brown. Add a pinch of sugar to caramelize onions faster.
Simultaneously, cook rice in boiling water with cumin seeds and salt till half cooked. Drain and keep aside.
Once onions are caramelized, keep aside half for garnishing. Stir in the spices (except garam masala powder), fry for few seconds and then add tomatoes. Once tomatoes are soft and pulpy, add the bouillon cube and crush them ensuring to melt them completely. Stir in the shrimps along with the paste, garam masala powder and mix well till partially cooked, less than 5 minutes.
Top half cooked rice over the prawn mixture and garnish with reserved onions. Pour ghee at various spots over the rice along with lemon juice and saffron milk. Cover and cook on very low heat (dum) for 20 minutes till rice cooked to perfection.
Stir rice gently to mix with prawn mixture below and serve with raita and papad.
- Bouillon cube is a stock cube like maggi, knorr or aurora brand. It enhances and flavours the dish.