500g prawns, cleaned and deveined & 1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder, biryani masala & garam masala
2 tablespoons lemon juice & Salt to taste
2 cups Basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
4-5 cups water for boiling the rice
Whole spices (2 bay leaves, 4-5 cloves, 4-5 green cardamoms, 1-inch cinnamon stick)
2 large onions & 2 tomatoes
A handful of chopped mint leaves & cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
A pinch of saffron strands soaked in 2 tablespoons of warm milk
In a bowl, mix plain yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, biryani masala, garam masala, lemon juice, and salt. Add the cleaned prawns to the marinade and coat them well. Let them marinate for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to infuse.
In a large pot, bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil. Add the soaked and drained Basmati rice, along with whole spices and salt. Cook the rice until it's 70% cooked (it should have a slight bite to it). Drain the water and set the parboiled rice aside.
In a separate deep pan or pot, heat ghee or vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they become soft and the oil starts to separate.
Add the marinated prawns along with the marinade to the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the prawns are partially cooked.
In the same pan with the partially cooked prawns, add a layer of half of the parboiled rice.
Sprinkle some chopped mint and cilantro over the rice. Drizzle some saffron milk on this layer.
Add the remaining rice as the next layer. Again, sprinkle mint, cilantro, and saffron milk on top. You can also add a pinch of edible orange food color mixed with milk on this layer for the classic Biryani look.
Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid to trap the steam and flavors. You can also use aluminum foil to seal the pan tightly.
Reduce the heat to low and cook the Prawn Biryani on "Dum" for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the rice and prawns to cook together and absorb the flavors.
Once the Dum cooking is complete, gently fluff the biryani with a fork to mix the layers.
Serve the aromatic and flavorful Prawn Biryani hot with raita, salad, and your favorite side dishes.