Serves a Crowd

Shrimp Biryani (Indian Shrimp and Rice)

by:
November 26, 2009
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

As a kid I loved seafood and hated Indian food. Over the years somehow that got switched up to loving Indian food and becoming vegetarian. About a year ago I decided to make the move to pescatarianism which has opened a whole new culinary world for me. For my 30th birthday my dad made this amazing Shrimp Biryani dish for me marrying my two favorite things, seafood and Indian food. Send thanks to him for the flavors you are about to indulge in. - amreen —amreen

Test Kitchen Notes

This biryani has the distinction of being both delicate and full of flavor. A bowl of this fragrant rice and shrimp would be equally suited to lunch or dinner, either enjoyed alone in private bliss or served for a dinner party. We love that the same mixture of garlic, ginger, cilantro and chilies gets incorporated into both the rice and shrimp, the two parts of the dish mirroring each other aromatically. And amreen reminded us of the beauty and ease of baked rice! - A&M —The Editors

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro
  • 2 serrano chilis
  • 1 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 1 1/2 inches
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 10 to 12 whole green cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • 1 pinch salt to taste
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the rice and soak it in cold water until needed.
  2. Wash the shrimp and drain it well. Add the salt and tumeric and mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Peel the ginger and garlic and use a food processor to blend it to a paste with the cilantro and chilis. You can use a little water if it is too dry.
  4. Chop the onion and mint and leave to the side until needed.
  5. Heat the oil on medium in an oven safe dish. Add the peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and 1 bay leaf. Saute until fragrant, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped onion and saute until light brown, stirring constantly.
  7. Add 1/2 of the paste and saute for another minute or two.
  8. Add water and salt (1-2 teaspoons depending on taste) and bring to this to a boil.
  9. Drain the rice and add it to the boiling water and add the butter and mint. Bring this to a boil, cover and place it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. When the rice has been in the oven for about 10 minutes heat some oil in a saute pan and add the remainder of the paste along with the other bay leaf. Saute this for a minute or two and add the shrimp. Saute the shrimp until done (they should be light pink) about 5 minutes.
  11. Remove the rice from the oven. Top it with the shrimp and serve with kachumber (recipe can be found on my profile :P)
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Review
I am one of the rare northern Cali girls who hearts LA. My family hails from India via Kenya and being a good little south asian i spent many of my young years in the kitchen. Surrounded by good food from birth (thanks mom!) i have always loved cooking, eating and learning about food. In recent years i have developed an interest in the history of food and its cultural connection particularly in how imperialism and colonization has had an influence on cuisines of the world. This blog is my way of exploring the amazing web of nourishment that sustains us.