As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Prawn Biryani with Saffron & Carmalised Onions

I know, today's posts are prawn-obsessed... but if you ask me (and my pal Krithika), there is no such thing as "too much prawns" or "prawns too often" :) I made this as a part of a meal I planned for some friends...turned out absolutely yummers! And the best part? If you have the prawns in your freezer, the rest of the ingredients, you will most likely already have in your kitchen...which means... you can whip this up any time :) Quantified to feed 4-5 persons, but feel free to add more prawns and boneless fish if you like!

- 3 cups Basmati Rice
- 3 cups medium-sized Prawns
- 1 cup Yoghurt (Dahi), slightly tangy
- 2" piece Ginger
- 4 to 5 cloves Garlic
- 2 green Chillies
- 3 large Onions, sliced
- 5 cups hot Water
- 2 Vegetable stock cubes
- 1-1/2 tbsp Red Chilli powder
- 1 tbsp Turmeric powder
- 1-1/2 tbsp Garam Masala
- 2 tbsp Coriander powder
- 1-1/2 tbsp Butter+ 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1/4 cup Oil for frying Onions

- Whole Spices:
3" Cinnamon stick + 3-4 Black Cardomoms + 4-5 Green Cardomoms + 1 tbsp Black Peppercorns + 3-4 Star Anise + 2 Bay leaves
- 1 large pinch Saffron
- 1 medium bunch Coriander, chopped
- 1 small bunch Mint leaves, chopped
- Juice of One Lime to squirt

1.)  Wash the Rice and set aside in a bowl with just enough water to keep it soaked. Let the rice soak for about 45-50 minutes.

2.) In a mortar pestle, pound the ginger, garlic and green chillies together till well mashed.
Whisk the yoghurt and add half the Ginger-Garlic-Chilli paste to it along with 1/2 tbsp of Turmeric and some salt. Marinate the prawns in this yoghurt for about 45 mins or so.

3.) Deep fry the sliced Onions till dark brown and caramelized. Drain and set aside on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Dissolve the Vegetable stock cubes in 5 cups of hot water. Set aside.

4.) In a large Handi ( I used a large 5 litre pressure cooker), heat the butter along with the olive oil till the butter is foaming. Add all of the whole spices (as per list above) till they sizzle and are fragrant. Add the remaining Ginger-garlic-chilli paste. Saute for a few seconds.

5.) Remove the excess water from the rice and add to the Cooker. Stir and saute for a few minutes. Pour the hot Vegetable stock into the rice. Stir in the Red chilli powder, Garam masala, Coriander powder and remaining Turmeric powder.Add half of the fried Onions. Reserve the rest to use as garnish.

6.) Add the Prawns along with the yoghurt marinade. Add the chopped coriander and mint leaves and stir well. Add the Saffron threads and Cover and simmer for about 12-15 minutes till the rice is tender and cooked. Switch off heat and keep covered. Allow the Biryani to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Serve immediately, garnished with fried onions and chopped coriander with a squirt of lime juice. Yum! :)


  1. AnonymousJuly 10, 2011

    Sluuurp!! Making it for dinner soon!! Kp