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GOK #52: Prawns Biriyani - Thalassery style

GOK #52:  Prawns Biriyani - Thalassery style
The aroma of the prawns biryani itself is very appetising and it tastes just fantastic! This recipe is definitely worth trying!

For Marination
Prawns(deshelled, deveined and washed)- 1 Kilo
Red chilly powder -1 Teaspoon
Turmeric powder-1⁄4 Teaspoon
Ginger Garlic paste- 1 Teaspoon
Salt to taste

For Prawns Masala
Onions (medium finely sliced) - 4
Green Chillies (crushed) - 10
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tablespoons
Tomatoes (medium) - 3
Garam masala - 1-1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tablespoons

For Ghee Rice
Jeera rice/basmathi rice (wash and drain well) 3 cups
Water - 5 cups
1 inch cinnamon sticks - 2
cloves - 6
Bay leaf -1
Onion (big finely chopped)  1
ghee - 2 tablespoons
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Rose water- 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

For the Dhum
Coriander leaves finely chopped - lots
1-2 strands of saffron or just use food colour
Warm milk - 2 teaspoons
Garam masala - 1 teaspoon

Heat up a non-stick pan. Make sure when you choose your pan its big enough because its in this pan that u have to put the biriyani for dhum

Pour 1 tbsp oil, spread the prawns. Reduce the heat to medium and shallow fry the prawns slightly on both sides for around five-seven minutes. Take them out and keep aside.

Add 1 more tbsp of oil to the same pan(in which you shallow fried prawns), add onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chilies, salt and saute for a while.

Add the chopped tomatoes and saute well till tomatoes are soft and mashed up to release the juices.

Add garam masala and saute well. Now add the fried prawns and saute well to mix with the gravy. Cover with a lid and let it cook for few minutes around five-seven minutes in low heat.

Saute well to mix everything. Take off the stove and set aside till Ghee rice is ready.

Boil the water and keep aside.

Heat up a wide thick bottom pan. Add the ghee and oil in it and then add the sliced onions. Saute till they become golden brown. Take the onion out and keep aside.(Make sure you drain the oil well)

Now in the same oil add all the spices and the rice. Saute for about 10 minutes on medium flame.

Add the boiling water, rose water and salt to the rice and bring it to a boil.With a spatula give it a gentle stir till the bottom of the pan to make sure rice don't stick to the bottom.

Cover with a tight lid and let it cook till the rice is almost cooked and the water is fully absorbed. Switch off the stove and let it sit without any stir for a while till the high steam in the rice reduces.

Stir the rice gently and move to two-three platters to make sure rice is not sticky and remain as individual grains.Keep aside

Place a flat tawa on the burner. The flame should be at the lowest. Place the pan containing the masala on top of the tawa.

Take less than half of the rice and spread on top of the masala. Sprinkle a little of the saffron milk, coriander leaves, fried onion and garam masala.

Make 2 more layers following same procedure with the remainig rice.

When all the layers are set take a long spatula. With the handle of the spatula make holes in the layers. (This is to get the aroma of the masala well into the layers of rice.)

Cover the vessel air-tight with a clean kitchen towel or silver foil, put on the lid tight to infuse the full flavor and cook it in low-medium heat for approx 20-30 minutes or till you see steam releasing from the sides of the vessel. Take off the stove and let it sit undisturbed for 10-15 minutes.

When serving carefully take out the rice layers into another vessel. Make sure you don't take out the masala with the rice. Mix the rice well.

Once u have removed the rice, stir the masala well. In thalassery we serve masala and rice separately or u can serve them in individual plates.

Enjoy with pickle, pappad and raitha.

Courtesy:  Reshma Shekhar