Shrimp Biryani

Briyani alwasys jazzes up any special occasion. Easy and simple enough to prepare and the taste is well worth any extra effort. Briyani also happens to be a favorite of everyone in our house. This is my first attempt at Shrimp Briyani but the empty plates confirmed that it was well liked. The mint plant still has leaves on it although tiny. Winter has not been too bad,bad is the operative word here, is it Global Warming, El Nino? Those are worries for another day but now it is time to enjoy the Shrimp Briyani.

Shrimp Briyani

Ingredients
1. 10-15 medium sized shrimps cleaned (tails removed)
2. 2 Medium size potatoes peeled and cubed
3. 1 large red onion sliced thin
4. 1 large juicy tomato chopped fine
5. garlic 8 pods, 2inch piece ginger, 6 green chillies (according to tolerance level) minced in a food processor
6. 2 tsp lemon juice
7. 1/2 cup chopped mint
8. 1 cup chopped corriander leaves
9. Seasonings 4 cloves, 1/2 inch cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 6-7 curry leaves
10. 2 tsps ghee
11. 2 tsp Oil (or as required)
12. 2 tsp turmeric powder
13. 1 tsp red chilly powder
14. 1/2 tbsp chicken masala or garam masala powder
15. 1 1/2 cup Basmati rice washed (Rice:Water ration 1 : 1 1/2)
16. Cashews, almond slivers (fried in a little bit of ghee)

Shrimp
1. Mix the Shrimp with a 1/4 tsp of turmeric, tsp of red chilly powder and 2 tsp of lemon juice and salt and set aside.

Method
1. In a heavy bottomed pan or pressure cooker heat oil and 2 tsps of ghee add the seasonings and when they start to brown,
2. Add the onion and saute till they turn brown
3. Add the minced garlic,ginger, green chilly mixture and let them cook
4. Add the mint and corriander leaves and saute till wilted.
5. Add the tomatoes and let the mixture cook till the tomatoes becomes pulpy and chutney consistensy.
6. Now add the masala powder and mix well.
7. Add the Shrimp and let it cook for a minute or two. Now fish out all the Shrimp and keep it aside if a few are left behind that is ok. This helps keep the shrimp from getting overcooked and chewy.
8. Add the potatoes and mix well.
9. Add the rice and mix well and fry for a few minutes gently.
10. In a separate sauce pan bring to a boil the required amount of water for the rice.
11. When the rice is well coated add the water and test if there is enough salt.
12. Keep the heat at medium and cook till the rice is 3/4 cooked and the water is almost gone.
13. Add the shrimp mix well and sprinkle a tsp of ghee on top, if using a pressure cooker reduce the heat to below medium, cover lid put the weight on and cook for 5-6 minutes. If using a regular pan close the lid and cook for 8-10 minutes checking at regular intervals.
14. Garnish with the fried nuts and serve with Onion Raitha.

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