For the rice you will need
- 2 cups of rice
- 3 cups of water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- Oil and Salt to taste
For the prawn masala you will need
- ½ kilo of shelled and de-veined prawns
- 250 gms of shallots ( they are also known as Madras onions and may be found in South Indian shops) If these are unavailable use
- 2 large onions instead.
- 1 large pod of garlic
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 tbsp of Cuminseeds
- 1 tbsp of chili powder (or as much as you can stand)
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsps of Vinegar
- Oil and Salt as required
For the garnish you will need
- 2 onions sliced fine and deep fried until golden brown
- ½ cup of chopped coriander leaves and sliced green chilies
- Fried cashewnuts (optional)
- Grind the garlic coarsely with the ginger and shallots.
- Powder the cumminseeds without roasting.
- Mix the garlic, shallots, cumminseed powder, turmeric and chili powder with the vinegar and marinate the prawns in this mixture for 1 hour.
- Heat oil in a wok and fry the marinated prawns with the marinade until the prawns are cooked and the masala does not smell raw. If it turns dry add a little water (about 1/2 cup) at the end of cooking and boil once.
- Heat the oil and add the whole spices.
- Add the washed rice and salt and sauté for a minute.
- Now cook the rice using only 3 cups of water. The rice will be 3/4ths cooked.
- Take an oven proof dish and layer the bottom with half the rice.
- Cover with the entire prawn mixture and top with the rest of the rice.
- Garnish with the chopped fried onions and the coriander leaves (chilies and cashewnuts are optional)
- Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven for 30 mins. If using a microwave, microwave on 60-40 power for 10 mins. Alternately you can first bake the biryani and use the garnish afterwards.
- Serve with cucumber and tomato raita and Pappad. Mamma used to make a wonderful Date Chutney with it, the recipe for which is given below.
- 12 deseeded and chopped dates (use raisins if you don’t have dates)
- 1 large pod of garlic peeled
- 1 tbsp of red chili powder
- ¼ cup vinegar.
- Salt and sugar to taste
Put all the ingredients into your grinder and grind to a fine paste. Your chutney is ready.