Recipe for Chemmeen/Konju Biryani /Prawns /Shrimp Biryani - Kerala Style
For Rice :
Basmati rice : 2 cups
Water : 4 cups
Cloves : 4 nos
Cardamom pods : 2 nos
Cinnamon stick : 2 (1" pieces)
Bay leaves : 1 (optional)
Onion : 1 (big, finely sliced)
Lemon juice : 1 tsp
Salt to taste
For Marinating :
Prawns : 1.1 lb /1/2 kg (deshelled, devined and washed)
Red chilly powder : 1 tsp
Coriander powder : 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste: 1 tsp
Lime juice : 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Ghee/Oil for frying
For Prawn Masala :
Onion : 2 (medium, thinly sliced)
Green chillies : 8-10 or to your spice level
Ginger : 1"pieces
Garlic : 5 cloves (big)
Red chilli powder : 1 tsp
Coriander powder : 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Briyani masala : 2 tsp
Mint leaves : 1/4 cup (chopped)
Cilantro/Corainder leaves : 1/4 cup (chopped)
Ghee/oil : 2 tbsp
For Garnishing :
Fried Onion : 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves : Handful
Saffron : 1-2 strand
Warm milk : 2 tsp
Method of Preparation :
Cooking the Rice:
1. Soak the rice for 30mins and drain keep it aside.
2. Heat the ghee/oil in the pan,add sliced onions,all spices and saute for few mins; now add the drained rice and saute till rice combines well with all spices.
3. Boil the required water,add flavored rice,and cook the rice for 8-10mins.(uncovered)
4. When rice done drain the excess water immediately.
5. Sprinkle the lime juice.
Cooking the Prawns :
1. Clean the prawns and make a wet marinate with above mentioned marinate ingredients; apply it on prawns and keep it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
2. Make a paste of garlic,ginger and green chillies and set aside.
3. Heat a oil in the frying pan and shallow fry the prawns; drain the excess oil in the paper towel and keep it aside.
4. In same frying pan, add thinly sliced onion to left over oil and saute until it is translucent,add the ginger,garlic,green chilli paste, saute until brown color,now add chopped corainder,mint leaves and combine well.
5. Add briyani masala,turmeric powder,red chilli powder,coriander powder,salt to taste and combine well until the raw smell is gone.
6. Add fried prawns and mix well; if the gravy dry then add 3tbsp of water. (if needed).
7. Cover & Cook on low flame for about 5mins and wait till oil starts to separate and adjust salt.
Preparing for garnish :
1. Mix saffron strand in warm milk and keep it aside.
Cooking in Oven :
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F/180 degree C.
2. In a oven proof dish, grease your cooking dish and spread half of the prawn/shrimp masala and with some cooked rice,
3. Sprinkle briyani masala ,fried cashews, raisins, fried onions and chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves, sprinkle left over ghee and few drops of saffron milk over the rice as the final layering. Repeat this process.
4. Close with tight fitting heat resistant lid or close it with aluminium foil, crimp along the side and and bake it for 20 mins.
5. When it is done, remove and keep the dish covered until serving.
Cooking in Stove top - Dum Method :
1. Make a dough out of the wheat flour / maida with little water, the same way you would do it for chappathi and set it aside.
2. Place flat cast iron skillet or tawa on the lowest burner of your stove. The flame should be at the lowest setting.
3. Layer the prawn masala and rice; sprinkle biryani masala , fried cashews & raisins, fried onions and chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves, sprinkle left over ghee and few drops of saffron milk and over the rice as the final layering. Repeat this process.
4. Close with tight fitting lid seal the edges of the lid with above prepared dough. (Note : There should not be even the slightest opening) (or) if you don't prefer sealing it dough, then close it tight fitting lid and place the biryani vessel on top of the iron skillet or tawa and cook on for 15 mins and turn off the flame.
5. Let it rest unopened on tawa for another 15 mts and break open the seal; now dum is also done.
Serve hot with Raita, Pickle and Pappadam on the side and Enjoy!
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Happy Cooking !