Shrimp Biryani


Shrimp biryani is such a special dish that often marks a special day in most Indian homes. While it may take some time to put together it is well worth the wait. This dish pairs perfect with raita or even a divine rose laban on the side.

2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
6 cardamom pods, smashed
4 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cumin
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, smashed
1-1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled & de-veined
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups basmati rice, cooked
1 teaspoon saffron threads

1. In a saute pan on medium heat add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add onions, garlic, cardamoms, cinnamon, bay leaves, chili, turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender.

2. Add remaining oil and shrimp. Cool until shrimp is pink 1-2 minutes. Add yogurt cook for 7 minutes. Remove bay leaves and cardamom. In a small pan on medium heat toast pine nuts until golden.

3. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a buttered 3 1/2-quart baking dish, spread rice and shrimp mixture. Layer until everything has finished. Rice layer should be on top. Sprinkle nuts and saffron on top then tightly cover top with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

Yields: 8 servings

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