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Shrimp Biryani

MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

Shrimp Biryani is a layered rice dish and one of many recipes Zinobia Lakhani learned from her late mother-in-law. To toast saffron, stir in a small dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.

Shrimp Biryani

Leigh Beisch
 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
 1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
 6 whole cardamom pods, crushed
 4 dried bay leaves
 1 cinnamon stick (about 2 in.)
 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
 2 onions (1 lb. total), peeled and chopped
 1 tablespoon minced garlic
 1 1/2 pounds peeled, deveined shrimp (31 to 40 per lb.), rinsed
 1/2 teaspoon each chili powder, turmeric, and pepper
  About 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
 2 cups basmati rice
 2/3 cup lemon juice
 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, toasted
Step 1

Pour 1 tablespoon oil into a 10- to 12-inch pan over medium heat. Add cashews, cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and cumin seeds; stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour into a bowl.

Step 2

In pan, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; stir until limp, 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 3

Stir in shrimp, chili powder, turmeric, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and nut-spice mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, just until shrimp begin to turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir in yogurt. Cook, stirring often, until most liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

Step 4

Meanwhile, in a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 1/2 quarts water to a boil. Add rice; boil uncovered until almost tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and pour into a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and salt to taste.

Step 5

In a buttered 3 1/2-quart baking dish, spread about 1/3 of rice mixture level. Top with 1/2 shrimp mixture, spreading level. Repeat layers, ending with rice. Sprinkle evenly with saffron threads. Cover tightly with foil.

Step 6

Bake biryani in a 350° oven until center is hot and rice is tender to bite, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately, with raita.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 0

Amount Per Serving
Calories 528Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g25%

Saturated Fat 3.5g18%
Cholesterol 182mg61%
Sodium 532mg23%
Total Carbohydrate 67g23%

Dietary Fiber 2.7g11%
Protein 36g72%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.