My kids are lucky to have Haunt here who enjoys being the grandma that they so need here. She is their paternal grandma's sister. This last summer she wanted them to spend a week with her in the East and both jumped at the chance. Molu doesn't like the idea of flying without us but she was willing to brave it just so she could be near this very dear person. Kannan was a 'go' from the first. They are all set to go again this summer. One of the things they enjoyed having at Haunt's place was the shrimp biriyani. I found from her that this is not difficult to make for kids since they don't like a lot of things in it. Simple enough will do just fine. Works for me! It took a few tries and now kids, H and I have no issues polishing off this in any form.
In the Mix
shrimp - 3/4 lbs. (12 oz.) medium sized, deveined, shelled, washed and drained
for the marinade
chili powder - 1/2 tsp or less
lime juice - 1 tsp (fresh squeezed)
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
salt - 1/4 tsp
basmati rice - 4 cups cooked (leftover rice is OK)
olive oil - 3 tbsp
onion - 1 small or 1/2 medium sized - diced
ginger - 1/2 "
chicken biriyani masala - 1 heaped tbsp. or to taste
onion - 1/2 sliced thin. (optional for garnish)
cashew nuts halved - 1 tbsp (optional for garnish)
coconut oil - 2 tsp
How To Do
Mix the cleaned the shrimp with marinade ingredients and let sit overnight in the fridge. If there is no time for overnight, then marinate at least for half an hour at room temp.
Cook the rice in a rice cooker. Add a little less water than recommended so the biriyani rice is not over cooked. Mix with salt as needed using a fork to separate out the rice and set to cool. If the biriyani masala is salty, you might not want to add salt to the rice at this time.
Preheat your toaster oven to 300C.
Heat the oil in a 12" frying pan and add the shrimp. Keep the heat on high to make the process quick. Make sure to keep the shrimp in a single layer. After about a minute, turn over gently with a spatula. Another minute or two will be enough for the shrimp to cook evenly. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
Grind the onion and ginger together. I use an immersion blender for a quick grind. Add salt here as needed. HAunt tip: You can add one raw or cooked shrimp to the blender for a flavor burst in the gravy.
Add onion mix to the remaining oil in the pan. Save extra oil if any to mix later with rice. Saute for a few minutes and add biriyani masala. Add salt as needed. Now add the shrimp and mix all together.
The prepared shrimp can be refrigerated at this time to make the biriyani another day. Just heat gently before using as follows.
Mix the cooked rice with any gravy remaining in the shrimp pan. Add leftover shrimp oil if any and add salt as needed.
Spread the bottom of a small baking dish with the shrimp mix. Layer on top with the rice and bake at 300C for 20 minutes. Kid approved shrimp biriyani is best enjoyed with plain yogurt to keep it all simple. I am sure no one will complain if you decide to add the customary papadam and some raita to the menu.
Optional garnish can be sprinkled on top for those who want the biriyani to look a bit more dressy.
Simply fry the onions and saute the cashews in 1 tsp ghee or coconut oil. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle on top in your own plate so the little onion sleuths who are also the main customers will not complain.