Friends, if I have to describe today’s recipe, I would say it is succulent, flavorful, enriching, and satiating and it indeed is Prawns (Jhinga) Biryani.
I believe an adjective that can be used to best describe prawns is succulent. Merriam Webster says, succulent- full of juice, moist and tasty and prawns totally qualifies to be described by that adjective. Any recipe of prawns gets me drooling over and so you would find me experimenting with prawns in form of recipes like Prawns Curry, Prawns Fritters, Tandoori prawns, and Koli Kolambi Pulao.
Last Sunday we were toying with the idea of One-pot meal, and biryani came up as a natural choice and what better than a Prawns Biryani. By no means can I say that this is a quick and easy meal, it requires an elaborate preparation and an extended ingredients list. However, the end result is fulfilling and satisfying.
To start with Prawns are marinated in a mixture of turmeric powder, ginger paste, garlic paste and lime juice. Allow them to rest in the marination for 20 minutes, which is just good enough for prawns. Meanwhile, we can cook rice. Biryani is a treat to watch when the rice grains are long in size and stay intact and it highlights your culinary acumen. The choice of rice becomes important, and you must choose the long grain rice that you must be used to, whichever brand it may be. We usually choose India Gate Basmati rice (Dubar or Tibaar varieties). Rice is cooked in water seasoned with Dry spices and allowed to cook al dente that is cooking till it is firm to bite. The excess water must be drained out and rice spread on a large dish to prevent sticking of the grains. This may seem like an elementary step, but it plays a very important role in keeping the rice grains intact. If you let the rice grains stay for long in strainer, the grains at the bottom may become fragile and can break any moment. To prevent this from happening, spread them on a large dish to prevent them from sticking and breaking.
Allow the rice to come at room temperature, and meanwhile we can cook prawns. The prawns is tempered with onions, ginger-garlic, and few dry spices. Bhunao these spices, adding couple of tablespoons of water intermittently. When spices start releasing oil and aroma, we add whisked curd and will allow the prawns to cook in this gravy for just enough time till they appear cooked and are still tender and moist. The consistency of the gravy is very important here, it must not be too thin, as we are going to use it while layering the Biryani. It must be semi-thick that spreads easily in Biryani Handi.
Layering is very important, and you must see the below video for the detailed layering process. Finally, we seal the Handi with dough and let the Biryani cook on a Tawa placed on a low flame. The iron Tawa should be properly heated before you place the biryani handi on it.
Now, is the toughest part of the recipe, restraining your family members, who keep peeping into the kitchen and getting restless. For next 10 minutes of cooking time and possibly 10 more minutes of resting time, you can preach how patience is a virtue, and one who possess it is rewarded in life with great riches and sometimes with biryani too.
Prepare this elaborate preparation of prawn biryani and let your family feel special. Share your feedback with us in the comment section below.
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- 500 grams large sized prawns,cleaned and deveined
- 350 grams long grain basmati rice. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
- 3 medium sized onions sliced into lengths
- 2 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped
- Ginger paste
- Garlic paste
- ½ cup curd whisked
- 1 and ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 lime juice
- 3 blades of mace
- 1 and ½ inch cinammon stick
- 4-5 cloves
- 4 green cardamom
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 and ½ tsp red chili powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp yellow chili powder
- Few strands of saffron. Soak them in warm water
- ½ tsp green cardamom powder
- 2 tbsp fresh thick cream
- ½ cup fresh coriander leaves(cilantro) chopped
- ¼th cup fried onions
- Cooking Oil
- Let's begin with prawns marination.Put ½ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp ginger paste,lime juice.
- Mix all the ingredients. We will allow prawns to rest in this marination for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile let's cook the rice.In a large pan, boil 1 liter water. Add 1 tsp salt, bay leaf, cloves and green cardamoms.Allow the water to boil.
- As water starts to boil, add soaked rice.We are going to cook rice till it is 70% done(al dente).
- Rice gets 70% cooked (al dente) in about 5 minutes.Turn off the flame and strain excess water.Spread the rice in a large dish.
- Let's cook the prawns.In a pan, heat 3 tbsp oil. Fry onions until it turns golden brown in color.Onion turns into golden brown color in 10 minutes.
- Add mace, green cardamom, 2 tbsp ginger paste, 1 tbsp garlic paste. Fry the ingredients for 2 minutes.
- Now add 1 tsp turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, yellow chili powder.Bhuano the dry spices. We can add 1-2 tbsp water to prevent burning of spices
- Bhunao for 3-4 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes, salt to taste. Cover and cook the tomatoes.Tomatoes should be completely cooked. Tomatoes get cooked in 10 minutes.
- Add whisked curd.Mix it well and Bhunao for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
- Now add prawns.Coat them in masala. Cover and Cook prawns on medium flame for 5 minutes.
- Uncover and cook for 2 minutes and then turn off the flame.
- Assembling Biryani.Smear a Biryani Handi with 1-2 tbsp oil.Now put half of the prawns gravy.Add half of the rice and level it.spread saffron water. Add cardamom powder, chopped coriander, fried onions. Spread remaining prawns.
- Spread fried onions,chopped coriander,cardamom powder. Spread remaining rice.Sprinkle saffron water, cardamom powder,Cream. Finally add fried onions.
- Heat a Iron griddle on high flame.Cover the handi lid with flour dough.Turn the lid and seal the Handi.
- Reduce the flame and place handi on top of this tawa and cook for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, turn off the flame.Open the lid while serving the biryani.
- Mumbai Jhinga Biryani can be relished with Raita
Click here to watch recipe video