Prawn and Cardamom Biryani

This traditional biryani recipe layers together an aromatic curry with rice in the casserole. Quick to prepare and easily baked in the oven this is can be brought to the table straight from the oven.

RECIPE INFO

Serves 4

Preparation Time
min

Cook time
min

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Cook's NoteTo de-vein peeled prawns, run a small, sharp knife down the back of each one, only just cutting through the skin. Lift up and peel away the thin black vein.
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INGREDIENTS

Prawns:

  • 500g peeled raw prawns
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves- crushed
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

Rice:

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, ghee, or sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5cm piece peeled fresh ginger, finely grated
  • ½ tsp cardamom seeds (not pods)
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 2×7.5cm cinnamon sticks
  • 8 cloves
  • 3 tbsp coconut-based curry paste
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 400g white basmati rice
  • 700ml chicken stock
  • 4 fresh bay leaves or 12 fresh curry leaves
  • 400g vine tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
  • 2 tbsp each coarsely chopped mint and coriander
  • 100g roasted salted cashew nuts
  • Mint leaves to garnish

Cucumber and Mint Raita:

  • 175g piece cucumber
  • 175g whole milk or Greek style natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp mint jelly- warmed
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/Gas Mark 6. For fan assisted ovens reduce the temperature by 20°C.

Mix the prawns in a bowl with the spices, garlic, salt and pepper and set to one side.

For the rice: heat the oil in the casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, cardamom seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon sticks and cloves and fry for 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the curry paste and turmeric and fry for 2-3 minutes more. Add the rice, stock, bay leaves or curry leaves and ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. Stir once to make sure none of the rice is stuck to the base of the casserole, cover with the lid and cook for 1 minute over a high heat to build up a head of stem. Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the raita, peel the cucumber, halve it lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Finely dice the flesh, toss it together with ½ teaspoon of salt and set it aside in a sieve to drain for 10 minutes. Dry it well on kitchen paper and mix with the remaining ingredients and a little more salt to taste.

Remove the rice from the oven, uncover the casserole and fluff up the rice into separate grains with a fork. Stir through the diced tomatoes, cover with the lid and set aside to warm them through while you cook the prawns.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the marinated prawns and stir-fry for 3 minutes until just cooked through. Uncover the rice and gently stir through the prawns, three-quarters of the chopped mint, coriander, and the cashew nuts. Scatter the rest of the mint leaves and cashew nuts over the top of the biryani and serve with the cucumber and mint raita.

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