Prawns biryani with dill leaves and dried prunes
The origin of this dish is a Bengali dish called prawn biryani, which is made with cooked prawns, vegetables and rice. It is usually served with dried prunes and lots of fresh coriander. Biryani can be cooked in many different styles. For example, the Gujarati style from Gujarat in India, the Punjabi style from Punjab in Pakistan, the Sindhi style from Sindhi cuisine of Pakistan and India, the Bengali style from Bengal in India, the Malayali style from Kerala in India, the Indian sub-continent, the Indo-Chinese style, the Sri Lankan style from Sri Lanka, the Egyptian style from Egypt, the Pho noodle dish from Vietnam and the Oman
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When I was 15, I was part of a group of about 15 of us who met on Saturdays to go to the beach. We’d picnic there and spend the day swimming, playing games, and chatting. This was a momentous period in my life, because one of the boys in the group was the son of the most prominent businessman in our town. He would invite us his house, and we’d play games with his father and brothers, and he’d tell us stories about business deals he’d done, and how he was going to do more. He was just so cool.
Prawns Another delicacy, and my husband’s favorite sea dish, is biryani (Jhinga biryani). I included dill leaves (soya leaves) in this Biryani since they have a strong fragrance and flavor. You may use whatever spices you like and create Biryani according to your preferences, as well as the other Biryani recipes I’ve showed you. Prawns Biryani is a hearty rice dish made with basmati rice and prawns. In India, this is also a popular meal. I used medium king prawns, but you could also use tiny prawns. I put the prawns last, when the gravy was almost done, so they wouldn’t overcook. If the prawns are overdone, they turn rubbery. I didn’t add any biryani masala (homemade) to this, but it’s all up to you. It’s up to you how you want to cook the onions and other ingredients in the oil or ghee, but a decent Biryani always tastes excellent when the onions are roasted in oil or ghee.
This biryani is sour, aromatic, and spicy, and it’s wonderful because I used dill leaves for fragrance, alu bhukara (dried prunes), and curd for a sour flavor.
You may also add your own spices, and whether you want to cook it with ghee or oil is all up to you.
Prawns cook quickly, so I marinated and cooked them separately before adding them to the sauce and rice at the end. This prevents the prawns from becoming rubbery.
- 450 gms prawns
To make the marinade
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
- a pinch of salt (to taste)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup oil/ghee
- 3 onions (large)
- 2 Tomatoes (large)
- 2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
- – 6 cloves
- 5 green cardamoms
- 2 star anise
- 2 tsp. black cardamom
- 3 inch cinnamon stick – 1
- 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
- 3 tsp chili powder
- 6 green chillies, slit
- 3/4 cup curd
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup coriander leaves
- 1/2 cup or handful of dill leaves
- 13 – Alu bukhara (dried prunes)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
To prepare rice
- 2 cups of rice
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. black cardamom
- 4 green cardamoms
- 2 inch cinnamon stick – 1
- Water (as needed)
- a pinch of salt (to taste)
For stacking purposes
- a pinch of biryani color
- 1/4 cup fried onions
- 3 tbsp. ghee
- 1/2 cup or a handful of mint leaves
- 1/2 cup or a handful of coriander leaves
- 1/4 cup dill leaves
- 3–4 tablespoons lemon juice
- Keep the onions, tomatoes, and coriander leaves with their stalks chopped and ready.
- Dill leaves (soya leaves) may be chopped coarsely or finely; just the thin portion of the leaf, not the thick stems, should be included.
- The mint leaves have not been cut.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the prawns, chili powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder, and salt; stir well and chill for 3 hours until midnight.
- In a large utensil, heat 3 tablespoons of oil, then add the marinated prawns and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on high heat.
- When it begins to release liquid, cook until nearly done, then transfer it with its liquid to a separate dish and set it aside.
- In the same pot, heat the remaining oil, then add the onions and cook until soft and brown, about 10-12 minutes. You may cover the lid and continue to cook it.
- When the onions are fully cooked, remove 1/4 cup and set aside for layering.
- Stir in the entire spices, ginger, and garlic paste for 2 minutes.
- Cook for 5 minutes after adding the tomatoes. In between, give it a good stir. For a minute, mix in the mint, dill leaves (soya leaves), and coriander leaves.
- Stir in the chilli powder, turmeric powder, and alu bhukara, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Mix in the green chilies, water, and curd until the color changes to a light color.
- Add all of the prawns’ liquid, but not the prawns themselves, so that the liquid imparts a nice prawn flavor to the curry (gravy).
- As soon as the curd is added, stir it well to avoid cuddling.
- Close the cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gravy has created.
- Cook for 10 minutes, covered, until the oil separates from the gravy.
- The gravy turns from a light reddish color to a dark reddish color.
- It must be cooked thoroughly. If the mixture becomes too dry, add a bit more water.
- There should be enough gravy to cover the rice.
- Meanwhile, you may cook the rice or prepare it ahead of time.
- Cook the rice with the necessary quantity of water and entire spices.
- While the rice is cooking, add the other ingredients and continue to boil until the rice is 3/4 done. Strain and set aside.
- If you want to prevent rice sticking, rinse it in cold water and set it aside.
- If you stir it too much while it’s cooking, the grain will break.
- When rice grains are cooked, they grow longer.
- I usually boil the rice while the gravy is simmering, so I can pour it right on top.
- When the gravy is finished and well-cooked, and the rice is nearly done, add the prawns at this point.
- Add the prawns to the gravy, stir to combine, and taste for salt.
- As soon as the rice is done, pour it straight into the gravy and spread it out evenly.
- Now, equally stack the fried onions on top of it.
- Color, mint, dill leaves, and coriander leaves should all be equally distributed.
- Pour the lemon juice and ghee evenly over the rice.
- Close the lid firmly and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is done.
- Any hefty weight may be placed on the lid to prevent steam from escaping.
- The rice will not burn if the bottom of the spoon is thick. If you wish to prevent this, place a thick pan or tava underneath the utensil and cook the rice on a low heat.
- After that, you can either turn it off and let it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes or serve it right away.
combining rice and gravy
- While it’s done, take cautious when mixing it; start at the bottom and work your way up.
- With a broader spoon, scrape off the Biryani and stir gently from one side alone.
- Mix it from the bottom up, from the sides, to ensure that the gravy and rice are well combined.
- Place it on a platter and serve.
- The entire flavor and fragrance of the Biryani may be detected as soon as the lid is opened.
- This medium-spicy Biryani tastes great and works well with any raitha, Brinjal dish, or any other curry.
- 1 onion, 1 tomato, 1 green chili, salt, and the quantity of curd needed Mix thoroughly.
- If you don’t like spicy cuisine or your chilies are extremely hot, you can cut down on the chillies.
- Rice should only be 34% cooked; the grain may have grown longer than normal, but when pushed in the thumb, it is not completely cooked.
- While cooking the rice, a few drops of oil or vinegar may be added, and after draining, the rice should be washed under cold water to keep the grains distinct.
- When you mix the rice and gravy together, the amount of sauce should be adequate to cover the rice.
- You may use as much oil as you like, but the onion must be thoroughly roasted in oil or ghee.
- Add salt to the gravy and rice with care. It will be simple for you to divide the salt amount and place it.
- When I crush 300 grams of ginger and 300 grams of garlic paste, I use entire spices. See my recipe for ginger and garlic paste.
- When making Biryani, always use the same quantity of prawns and rice, or 1kg prawns for 500g rice.
- Layering is possible in this Biryani; first, remove some prawns with gravy and set aside; then, layer the remaining rice and other ingredients as follows: gravy with prawns, rice, fried onions, gravy with prawns, rice, fried onions, gravy with prawns, rice, fried onions, gravy with prawns, rice, fried onions, gravy with prawns, rice, fried onions,
- When the rice is put to the gravy, you may combine the rice with the sauce since it is not completely cooked, just partially cooked.
- I usually add a large amount of mint and coriander leaves, which is a necessity in Biryani; 1cup is a full handful of mint, as you can see in the photos.
Prawns and biryani have a special place in my heart, ever since I tasted the savory biryani with prawns that my mother used to cook when I was a child. The dish has a lovely balance of flavors and spices, and each bite is quite different from the next. I wanted to recreate that lovely dish to share with my friends and family, and share a simple recipe.. Read more about prawn biryani south indian style and let us know what you think.