Prawn (shrimp) Biryani برياني الشرمب

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Ingredients: 

For shrimp marinade:

  • 400 grams shrimp shelled and divined
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbs ginger garlic paste

For rice:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cups water
  • Pinch of saffron and 3 tbs hot water

For cooking the biryani:

  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 small stick cinnamon
  • 4 whole cardamoms
  • 1 tsp mace
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 tbs biryani masala 
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 green chilies chopped (optional)
  • Some salt
  • 2 big onions sliced and deep fried 
  • 1/2 tsp saffron diluted in 1/4 cup hot water

Method:  

Preparation , preparation preparation of the ingredients is the key in Indian cooking.

  1. Deep fry onions in oil, drain on a plate with a paper towel to absorb any extra oil and set aside.
  2. Chop mint, cilantro and hot chilies  and set aside
  3. In a small bowl, Dilute safron in hot water and set aside
  4. Prepare all spices.
  5. In a big bowl, soak the basmati rice in water for 30 minutes and drain it in a colander.
  6. In another bowl marinade shrimp with the ginger garlic paste, salt, chili powder and coriander powder and set aside 
  7. In a big pot, add 4 cups of water and let boil. Add salt, the stick of cinnamon,  cumin seeds, bay leaves and oil. Add rice and let boil until %85 cooked ( rice should not be all the way cooked, it should be al dente). 
  8. In a colander, drain the rice from water and set aside.
  9. To cook shrimp, in medium size pot and on a medium high heat stove, add the 2 tbs oil, cinnamon, cardamom, mace and shrimp.
  10. Do not fry shrimp all at once, you should divide shrimp amount in half or it will be steaming not frying.
  11. Set shrimp aside and reserve the oil and spices in the pot
  12. Return the pot on the stove and add yogurt, mint, cilantro, green chilies (if used)  1/2 the amount of the fried onions, salt and biryani masala. Stir for a minute.
  13. Add shrimp and spread rice on top.
  14. Sprinkle the rice with the rest of the onions and the saffron.
  15. Cover the pot with a lid and let cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes
  16. Remove the lid and with a serving spoon, mix the shrimp and rice together.

Enjoy with Raita and Naan bread! 

I always love to have my Indian food with a cold drink of Mango Lassi … Here is the recipe:

  • 2 ripe, sweet mangos
  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups ice (1 tray of ice)
  • 1 tbs sugar

Method:

  1. Peel and dice the mango 
  2. In a blender, puree the mangos. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until the ice is crushed and the drink is frothy. 
  3. Serve in tall glasses

Enjoy!!

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Om Ali- Egyptian bread pudding ام علي

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Om Ali translated means mother of Ali and is probably the most famous and traditional Egyptian warm dessert. It is the Egyptian equivalent to bread pudding and is normally made with puff pastry combined with cinnamon, nuts and dried fruits. 

Ingredients

  • 1 (17.25 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds toasted
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts toasted
  • 1/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
  • Any other combination of nuts or dried fruit you prefer
  • 1 cup heavy cream optional

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.  Unroll the puff pastry sheets, and place flat on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until puffed and golden brown.
  2. Break the puff pastry into pieces, and place in a  oven safe serving dish. 
  3. In a bowl mix cinnamon and all nuts and raisins and srinckle on top of puff pastry pieces.
  4. Meanwhile pour the milk into a saucepan, and stir in the sugar . Heat until hot but not quite boiling.  Pour over the mixture in the baking dish. 
  5. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. 
  6. Turn the oven to broil, pour heavy cream on top.
  7. Broil for 2 minutes to brown the top. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes.
  8. Serve warm.
  9. Enjoy!!