Shrimp Dum Biriyani
We are in the final stretch of this Cooking Carnival. My theme is Cooking with Protein Rich Ingredients and the ingredient of the week is Shrimp. For the next five days, I shall post recipes with shrimp.
It is so strange how our taste and likes changes over a period of time. When growing up, I always avoided shrimp or prawns. Back home, we get prawns and I always stayed away from it until I was 18-19 years old. And now, it is one of my favorite foods. I always look forward to cooking shrimp and it cooks very fast. That is one of the reasons I always include it in my menu when I have company.
The other food I really love is biriyani and specially layered biriyani. It is time consuming but this is one of the dishes I do not mind sweating myself in the kitchen to prepare a mouthwatering biriyani!! Though biriyani preparation looks lengthy with many components to it, once you make it a few times and with some multi tasking, preparation is not that bad at all. Also, don’t be intimidated by the lengthy procedure.
I already have shrimp biriyani recipe on my blog. That is kacchi (raw) biriyani where raw meat/shrimp is cooked along with partly cooked rice in an airtight pot. Kachi shrimp biriyani recipe on the blog is cooked in a rice cooker.
Today I have a pakhi (cooked) biriyani, where meat/shrimp is first cooked, then arranged in layers with almost cooked rice in an airtight pot and cooked to finish it off.
All my non-veg biryanis are similar, I follow a basic recipe. Even this recipe is no exception but I played around with few ingredients. I used both whole and ground green chilies, ground some of the fried onion to paste and used it as a masala for the shrimp.
Rest of the recipe is similar to my other biriyanis. Since this is pakhi biriyani, I cooked shrimp and then assembled the biriyani by layering cooked shrimp and rice. I cooked biriyani in an airtight pot on a stovetop. Biryani can be cooked in the oven but I find cooking on stovetop easier. The texture of biriyani depends on how long the rice is cooked. I usually set the timer to partly cook the rice. For this biryani, I cooked for 4 ½ minutes.
- 6 Cloves
- 6 Black Peppercorns
- ⅓ – ½ tsp. Cardamom Seeds (I used ⅓ )
- ½” Cinnamon Stick
- ½ tsp. Shah jeera
- 1 ½ lbs. extra large Shrimp, peel and devein (I used 16-20 ct. Shrimp)
- 1 ½ – 1 ¾ tsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tsp. Coriander Powder
- Spice Powder
- 2 tbsp. Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 ½ tsp. Salt
- 8 small Green Chilis, 4 cut into two pieces and 4 ground to paste
- ¾ cup. chopped Kotmir ~ Cilantro, loosely packed
- ¾ cup. Chopped Mint Leaves and loosely packed
- 2 cups. Basmati Rice
- 4 – 6 Cardamoms
- 3-4 Cloves
- ½” Cinnamon
- ½ tsp. Shah Jeera / Caraway Seeds
- 1-2 Bay Leaves
- ¼ – ½ tsp. Ginger Garlic Paste
- Fist Full of Salt (as you read it right)
- Marinated Shrimp
- Partly Cooked Rice
- ¾ cup. Oil
- 1 large Onion sliced
- ½ Lime, juiced
- ½ cup Milk
- ½ cup Water in which rice was cooked
- Spice Powder – Grind all the ingredients listed under spice powder. Keep aside until needed.
- Marinade – Peel and devein shrimp. Wash and squeeze shrimp to remove any excess water and place in a large bowl.
- Add rest of the ingredients listed under marinate.
- Mix everything to combine or rub it into shrimp.
- Keep aside for at least 30 minutes to one hour.
- Fry Onions – Take oil in a pan and fry onions until golden brown. Remove from oil and keep aside. I usually fry the onions in the same pot I cook the biryani. This way, one less pan/pot to wash!
- Grind ½ the fried onions to a coarse paste.
- Cook Shrimp – Keep aside half the oil in which the onions were fried. In the same pan, add shrimp, fried onion paste and cook until shrimp is cooked.
- Shrimp will release lot of juices. Do not cook until all the juices are evaporated. Leave the juices as is. Check the bottom row in the below collage.
- Squeeze lime juice, mix well.
- Turn off the heat and keep aside until ready assemble biryani.
- Cooking Rice – Meantime, wash rice and soak for 30 minutes.
- Ten minutes into marinating, put at least 8 cups of water to boil. Take at least 8 cups of water and use at least 2 – 2 ½ quart/liter pot to cook the rice.
- Once the water comes to a boil, add all the ingredients listed under rice, except rice. Give a good stir.
- Add soaked rice and cook rice until about ¾ cooked. I usually set a timer and on my stove, it is about 4 ½ minutes.
- Keep aside ½ cup of water and pour the rice into a colander.
- Assemble Biriyani – In the same pot in which shrimp was cooked, arrange a layer a cooked rice, ½ the rice.
- Sprinkle ½ the saffron soaked milk and ½ fried onion on the rice.
- On top of this, spread remaining cooked rice, followed by fried onions.
- Pour remaining saffron milk, water in which rice was cooked and the oil that was kept aside in which onions were fried.
- Cover the the pot with aluminum foil to seal it properly. To retain as much steam as possible, I use two foils.
- Cover the pot with the lid.
- Cover the sides of the pan with more aluminum foil to seal the cover pot.
- Place a heavy object on the pot. I usually put cast iron pans on top but any heavy object will do, some exercise dumbbell weights, perhaps!
- Cook on high flame for 4 minutes or until steam begins to escape from the sides of the pot/pan. Reduce the flame to low and cook for another 13 minutes.
- Turn off the flame and let the rice rest for at least 15 – 30 minutes.
- Mix and serve with raitha or some curry.