Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
500g Basmati rice
1 kg large prawns shelled and deveined
To marinate prawns:
1 cup yogurt
Juice of 1 lime/ lemon
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tablespoons garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
Salt to taste
To fry: 4 large onions sliced thinly (divided into 3 equal portions)
3 large tomatoes chopped finely
For dry masala/ spice mix:
2 tablespoons whole koljana/coriander seeds
1 tablespoons whole jeera/cumin seeds
1 tablespoon saunf/ aniseed/ fennel seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 pieces of cinnamon
5 green cardamom
10-12 black peppercorns
2 dry red chillies
For wet masala: 2 green chillies
1/2 cup fresh dhanya leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
3-4 tablespoons fresh chopped dhanya/coriander leaves
4-5 tablespoons cooking oil
Wash the rice. Soak it in warm water for 30 minutes.
Cook the rice till almost done. Drain remaining water (if any) and keep aside.
Marinate the prawns with the marinating ingredients.
Heat a flat pan on a medium heat and gently roast all ingredients mentioned under “For dry masala/ spice mix” till they start to become slightly darker and give off a faint aroma.
Now grind all the roasted ingredients to a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder or use a mortal & pestle.
Grind the ingredients mentioned under “For wet masala”, to a smooth paste in a food processor.
Heat the cooking oil in a deep pan till hot and then fry 1 of the 3 portions of sliced onions till crispy and golden. When done, drain and remove from the oil and keep aside on paper towels to garnish breyani later.
In the same oil, add the remaining sliced onions and fry till soft. Now add the tomatoes and fry till soft.
Add all the dry and wet masala ingredients prepared earlier and fry till the oil begins to separate from the whole mix.
Now add the prawns and all the marinade to this spice mix. Stir and allow to cook till the prawns are done. Do not overcook as the prawns will get rubbery in texture. Season with salt if required.
Remove from heat.
Take a large, deep baking dish/ ovenproof dish (it MUST have its own cover) and grease lightly with cooking oil. Layer the rice and prawn as follows: rice – prawn – rice. End with a layer of rice.
Garnish with the crispy fried onions, chopped dhanya leaves. Cover the dish and seal tightly.
Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes.