Shrimp/ Prawn/ Jinga Biryani

It had rained nonstop, for almost a week now…. aching to get out in nature and enjoy the beautiful Fall colors, I was glad to see, it had stopped raining this evening, though the rain clouds seemed to hang low. Not wasting another minute indoors,  I ventured out bravely soaking in all that fresh air especially after the rains. The grass and the fallen leaves were soaked in rain water, yet those that remained on the tree top, stood proudly flaunting their crowning glory.Soul food for the nature lover in me……

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So many shades of red and yellow and green, I was certain the creator was an artist to begin with, how else could he come up with such varying hues, I thought as I continued to walk.

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There is an unspoken beauty about Fall season, it leaves you speechless in its magic, all you can do is soak in it….

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Feeling completely content and inspired to create ,after that invigorating walk, I set about preparing something spicy, the first thing that came to mind was the packet of frozen shrimp in my freezer….. I fiddled with the idea of creating something with the shrimps,thinking about all the different recipes, I have used shrimp/prawns in, in the past.Here is the list of the different recipes, I have tried with shrimp/prawns……

  1. Malaysian Butter Prawns :Here is the link to my recipe published earlier…https://stirringmyspicysoul.com/2013/10/24/malaysian-butter-prawns/
  2. Sweet and Sour Prawns : Here is the link…https://stirringmyspicysoul.com/2012/08/19/sweet-sour-prawns/
  3. Spicy Skewered Prawns : Yup, I have tried that too, here is the link…..https://stirringmyspicysoul.com/2012/06/08/spicy-skewered-prawns/
  4. Shrimp Stuffed Tamales : Another innovative dish I had tried with shrimps in the past, here is the link ……https://stirringmyspicysoul.com/2014/05/03/shrimp-stuffed-tamales/
  5. Malabar Spinach and Prawn Gravy : Another traditional dish from my homeland, here is the link…..https://stirringmyspicysoul.com/2012/10/15/malabar-spinach-n-prawn-gravy-basale-yetti-gravy/
  6. Prawn and Mint Pulav : Yup, another yummy rice dish to try, here is my link…..https://stirringmyspicysoul.com/2012/05/31/prawn-mint-pulao/
  7. Methi/Fenugreek Prawn Masala : Another yummy dish with prawns & methi/fenugreek, here is the link……https://stirringmyspicysoul.com/2012/04/06/methi-fenugreek-prawn-masala/
  8. Prawn Tikka Masala : Can be a starter or a side dish, leaving you craving for more, here is my link….https://stirringmyspicysoul.com/2012/03/30/prawn-tikka-masala/
  9. Spicy Prawn Masala : Spicy and tasty dish to beat the cold, here is my link…..https://stirringmyspicysoul.com/2012/03/25/spicy-prawn-masala/

So you can tell, by the list of recipes I have used prawn/shrimp in, it is one of my favorite seafood, so this evening I wanted to try yet another dish using shrimp/prawns and came up with this  aromatic rice dish cooked with spicy prawns called “Jinga Biryani “/ Shrimp / Prawn Biryani, easy to prepare with ingredients in your pantry, yet satisfying in its deliciousness on a rain soaked cold Fall day…what better way to warm your insides? Go ahead  and give it a try, you are sure to ask for a second or third helping.

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Ingredients :

Shrimp/Prawn packet- 20-25 large/40-45 (if small)

Shallots – 7-8 ( large,sliced fine)

Tomatoes -2 ( large)

Ginger garlic paste – 1tbsp

Chili powder – 1tbsp

Fish sauce – 1tbsp

Garam masala- 1tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt – to taste

Coconut Oil /Ghee – 2tbsp

Cloves- 4-5

Cardamom- 2-3

Bay leaves – 1

Cilantro/Coriander leaves- a few ( to garnish)

Basmati Rice – 2 cups

Water- 4 cups

Method :

1.Clean the shrimp/prawns under running water after you have thawed them if they are frozen, and marinate them  with turmeric powder, salt, fish sauce and chili powder for 20 minutes.

2.  Wash and then soak the basmati rice for half an hour before you cook it. Drain the water with a colander and set the rice aside.Then, in a heavy bottomed vessel, warm a little oil add the bay leaves, cloves and cardamom & stir it a bit. To this add the soaked and drained rice & stir  gently so the rice is coated with the flavor of the spices. To this add the  4 cups of water & allow it to cook slowly without closing the lid.When the rice is 3/4 cooked and the water completely evaporated switch off the flame & set the cooked rice aside.Cooking the rice separately helps keep it fluffy and full, just the kind you want in your Biryani.

3. Now in a wok, warm some oil and add the finely sliced shallots and saute them, till they turn a golden brown.Then add the turmeric powder & stir a little.To this add the cubed tomatoes and cover with lid , till the tomatoes get mushy and soft. Then add  the garam masala powder & stir till the raw smell disappears.

4.To the above add the marinated shrimps/prawns and keep stirring , till all the flavors are coated on the prawns. Then add the ginger garlic paste & stir for a few minutes with salt to taste.Cover with lid and let it cook for 10-15 minutes. DO NOT overcook shrimp/prawns , since they become rubbery.Remove from heat & set aside.

5. Now in a ceramic bowl or a rice cooker, add the cooked rice and cooked prawns in layers and garnish with cilantro on top. Keep it covered with something heavy on top for an hour or more, it is called “Dum Biryani” in India, when it is allowed to cook on it’s own steam,usually this vessel is placed on a pile of burning coal, with a heavy brick on top , since that is not possible in my setting, I simply cover and keep it on the hot stove for another half hour or so, the rice and the shrimp are mixed well & ready to  be served hot.   It tastes even better the next day.

Enjoy your Shrimp Biryani, a spicy treat you give yourself in the warm confines of your sweet home, nothing like home food cooked with love.

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