Monday, 11 February 2013

Viral Prawn Pulao..errrr no...Biryani..err no..Pulao..err no...WHATEVER!! BUT VIRAL STAYS!!

Soooo...I had this post planned in my head...was going to talk about the difference between a pulao and a biryani...and in the end reveal the answer to what I had cooked before getting to the recipe...and also show how knowledgeable I was...but NOOO!! Something went wrong with the Anti – virus on my laptop and I lost some of my data and pictures I had taken with the cameraonly left with a few of pictures in the phoneughhhh...soooothe new name !!

“Viral Prawn Rice thingy”

Ingredients for the rice:

  • Basmati Rice,  1 ½ cups 
  • Green Cardamom,2
  • Cloves,2
  • Cinnamon,1” stick
  • Star Anise,1
  • Salt, to taste

Ingredients for the Prawn Masala :

  • Fresh Prawns, cleaned & deveined with tails intact, 30  medium size
  • Onions, thinly sliced, 3 large
  • Tomato, finely chopped, 2 large
  • Plain Yogurt/Dahi, 3 heaped tbsp
  • Ginger, paste, 1 tsp
  • Garlic, paste, ½ tsp
  • Green Chilies, finely chopped, 2-3
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sugar, ½  tsp
  • Bay leaf,2
  • Black Cardamom, 1
  • Green Cardamom,2
  • Cloves,2
  • Cinnamon,1” stick
  • Mace, ¼ tsp
  • Nutmeg, a big pinch
  • Red Chili powder, 1  tsp
  • Kashmiri Red chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder, ½ tsp
  • Cumin powder, 1 tsp
  • Fresh Coriander, only leaves, finely chopped, 3-4  tbsp
  • Oil, 2 tbsp

Ingredients for assembling:

  • Desi Ghee, 1 tbsp
  • Milk, 3-4  tbsp
  • Saffron strands, 1 tsp (optional) 
  • Green/Red chilies, slit and seeds removed, a couple


Soak saffron in warm milk and keep aside.

Heat oil in the pressure cooker , add the bay leaf and black cardamom. After about 30 seconds , add the onions with salt and sugar. Fry the onions till golden brown. 

Add ginger garlic paste, green chilies, the spice powders, rest of the whole spices and tomatoes. Stir for 5-10  minutes, till tomatoes go mushy. 

Add the prawns, stir and remove from heat. 

Add the yogurt – spoon by spoon and mix. Mix well and close the lid. 

After full pressure comes, bring the flame to lowest. Let it cook for 2 minutes- no more! Release the pressure and immediately open the lid.

If there is a little too much gravy or it too runny, take out the prawns and cook the gravy till it gets the thick enough to coat the prawns. Mix in the coriander leaves. 
(This method of cooking the prawns for the pulao is my MIL’s and has never failed me as the timing is perfect. If you think you can cook the prawns in a pan without overcooking them, please go ahead)

Wash and soak the rice in cold water for not more than 10-15 minutes. 

Drain and boil the rice with green cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, star anise and salt till they are about 80% done. 

Drain well and spread out the rice on a flat tray to cool. 

Now to assemble :  
Take a heavy bottom pan and smear the base with ghee.

Spread a layer of rice at the bottom of the pot, top it with prawns masala and then top this with the rest of the rice. 

Sprinkle saffron infused milk ,green chilies and ghee on top. 

Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook over slow indirect heat (pan placed over tawa/griddle) or in an oven  on "Dum " for about 25-30 minutes or so, just ensure that no steam escapes while cooking – you can either cover the edges of the lid with a thick kitchen towel or with dough to seal it . 

Remove the lid once done, fluff up the rice with a fork and it is ready to serve with some raita or salad of your choice.

Oh!! and forgot to tell you, if you are greedy, put in some extra prawns while making the Prawn Masala and keep some aside to eat with plain rice the next day!! J