Everyone knows what biryani is – that lovely, rich and aromatic one-dish meal which is almost as synonymous with Indian cuisine as curry is. The method of cooking biryani varies from region to region. The most common method involves preparing the rice and the gravy separately and then layering them in a large pot. This is then sealed and allowed to steam gently. The meat gravy infuses the rice with all its flavor and aroma. This method of steam cooking is called “dum”.
Traditionally, some sort of large metal pot would be used. The lid would be sealed tightly using a sticky wheat flour dough. The steaming involves placing this pot over a heated heat diffuser, like a hot cast iron skillet; and the lid would be weighed down with something hot too, like a pot containing hot water or coals. Modern life demands that we improvise. A non-stick pot replaces the metal one. Aluminum foil takes the place of the wheat dough.
Cooking the rice perfectly is key to a good biryani. Each grain must be perfectly cooked, yet be separated from its cousins. Ending up with mushy, overcooked biryani rice is every cook’s worst nightmare. There are a few tricks that I’ve picked up over time. 1). Using slightly lesser water than necessary to cook the rice, so that it is 75-80% done. 2). Fluffing the cooked rice and spreading it on a plate keeps it from clumping together. 3). Also, it makes sense to start on the gravy first and cook the rice towards the end, right before layering.
This time I made biryani using shrimp or prawns, which cook very fast and so the gravy was prepared pretty quickly. I used small-medium sized shrimp. I find the super-sized ones don’t necessarily take the masala well. I also lightly fried the shrimp first, because I love the slightly roasted flavor it adds. You can add it directly to the masala, if you’d rather not fry it.
Check out my other prawns recipe here:
- muttai-eral-poriyal/ egg-with-shrimp-poriyal /egg-prawn-bhurji
|Prawn Dum Biryani/Shrimp biryani/Eral Biryani/Prawn Biryani Recipe|
Prep Time : 10 mins Cooking Time : 45 mins
Soaking time : 30 mins Serves : 4-5
Basmati Rice :2 cups
Oil : 2 tbsp
Ghee : 2 tbsp +1 tbsp
Onion : 1 large sliced thinly
Tomato : 2 large chopped
Green Chili : 2 slit
Ginger garlic paste : 1 tbsp
Red chilly powder : 2 tsp
Garam Masala powder : 1.5 tbsp
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp
Curd/Yogurt : 1/4 cup
Coriander leaves : 2 tbsp chopped
Mint Leaves : 2 tbsp chopped
Saffron : a pinch
Warm milk : 4 tbsp
Whole Garam masala :
Salt to taste
For Marinating Prawns:
Prawns : 20 medium sized
Chili powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Ginger Garlic paste
Cooking Rice :
1. Wash and soak the basmati rice for 30 mins. Drain and set aside.
2. Start by cooking rice, bring lots of water to a boil, add salt to it and when it reached a rolling boil, add in rice and cook for 7 to 8 mins till the rice is 85 percent cooked. Drain and set aside.
For Biryani Masala:
3. Mix the prawns with the marination and set aside.Heat ghee and oil in a pot in which you are going to make biryani.
4. Add in the prawns and cook on high heat for 2 mins. Remove it and set aside.In the same oil add in whole garam masala, onions, chilies and saute till golden.
5. Then add in ginger garlic paste, cook i till raw smell leaves. Now in spice powder along with required salt. Cook for a min. Then add in tomatoes, coriander and mint leaves. Cook till tomatoes get mushy.
6. Now add in curd/yogurt. Then add in fried prawn into it. Toss well to mix it with masala. Make a thick gravy.
7. Now take a half gravy separately for layering purpose. Turn heat to low at the max.
8. Start layering with cooked rice. Then layer with stocked prawn masala. Again layer with rest of cooked rice. Then spread some mint and coriander leaves on top.
9. Then add soaked saffron milk. Sprinkle some melted ghee on top.
10 Cover with a tight lid and put the pot on very low heat for 10 mins.
Open and fluff lightly. Serve hot.
- Take cleaned and washed shrimp/prawns. Add in ginger garlic paste, chili and turmeric powder along with salt. Mix and marinate it for 10 mins. Then heat oil and heat in biryani pot, which you are going to prepare biryani. Fry it on high for 2 mins both the sides and set aside.
2. Boil lot of water to rolling with bubbles. Then add in 30 mins soaked basmati rice with required salt. Cook it for 7-8 mins. Cook rice for 85%. Then strain rice in colander and set aside.
3. Now all set. Lets start with making biryani. Add whole garam masala in shrimp fried oil. Then add in onion with green chilies, saute till golden brown. Then add in ginger garlic paste. Cook it till raw smell leaves.
4. Now add in spice powders, salt. Cook it for a while. Then add in tomato, cook till mushy and add in coriander and mint leaves, saute it for 1 min.
5. Now add in curd/yogurt, cook it for 2 mins. Then add in fried shrimp/prawns and mix well with masala for 1 min.
6. Store half masala gravy, set aside. Spread, cooked basmati rice on the top of half gravy. Then spread other half of shrimp gravy on it. Turn heat to low on this process.
7. Then spread rest of cooked basmati rice. Sprinkle some chopped coriander and mint leaves. Then warm saffron milk. At last add ghee on top. I melted ghee. You can add as it is.
8. Now prawn dum biryani all set to put on dum. Turn on heat to low. Cover pot with tight lid or heavy. I made it on dutch oven. So, lid is heavy. If you are doing in normal pan or pot. Keep some weight on top with filled with water or as you prefer. Cook it for 10 mins. Let is sit for 10 mins. Then fluff it of and serve hot.