One of my blog readers wrote in and requested shrimp biryani and ironically I already had shrimp laid out to cook. It’s been awhile since I have made Indian food so it actually sounded really good. When cooking shrimp you have to be really careful not to overcook or else you get a tough plastic like texture. As soon as the shrimp turns pink it should be removed from the stove. In the oven the shrimp will be layered with rice and covered with foil for protection. This is actually a really easy meal and it will be even easier if you have leftover rice to use. Living in Riyadh you always seem to have bags of rice in the fridge since every restaurant you ever go to gives you large bags for takeout. A perfect companion for this dish is a tomato and onion chutney or my personal favorite plain yogurt.
1-1/2 cups basmati rice, cleaned
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 green chili
1 (1inch) piece ginger
600 grams shrimp, cleaned and deveined
3 tablespoons red curry paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
3 tomatoes cut into thin wedges
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 bay leaves
4 green cardamom pods, bruised
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1. In a small food processor add onion, garlic, chili and ginger. Pulse until chopped. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan on medium heat add oil. Add onion mixture and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the shrimp and fry for about 3 minutes, until no longer pink. Add the curry paste, salt and garam masala to the shrimp mixture. Carefully add tomato wedges and continue cooking for another few minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Add the rice and turmeric. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice is almost tender. Drain the rice and toss together with the bay leaves, cardamom, cloves and saffron.
4. Layer the rice and shrimp in a shallow, ovenproof dish until all the mixture has been used, finishing off with a layer of rice. Cover and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Yields: 4 servings