Shrimp (or Chicken) Biryani – Prepared Easy Style

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Shrimp Biryani

Simply Asia makes an Indian Essentials Spice Packet called: Chicken Biryani.  Being a big fan of Biryani, often eaten at our local India restuarant I was up to the challenge of testing a quick and easy way to make Biryani vs a more complicated recipe that involved no short-cuts.  (The long method will be posted later this week and was also equally successful).  The dish was easy to make.  The skillet did take a little effort to clean but overall clean up is reasonable for the quality of the dish.   We had zero left-overs for three people, one of who is under 5 and one of whom is a hungry man.  So I suggest doubling the recipe if your crowd is large or if you want any leftovers.  The serving amount on the packet notes 6.  Given we had no sides, our portions were on the larger size.

This dish looks and tastes great.  The dish does have some nice, yet mild heat.  The spices noted in the packet are chili peppers, turmeric, red pepper paprika, and salt.  The packet also lists sugar but that was not detectable  and the packet itself only lists 15 calories so it cannot be too much.  Sodium is listed as 440mg (18% of daily value) which is not too bad for a prepared packet like this.

Ingredients:

3/4th cup of plain vanilla yogurt

1 package of Simply Asian Chicken Biryani -see photo

2 tbsp. oil (I used olive oil)

1 medium onion thinly sliced

1 pound of uncooked shrimp (shelled and deveined)  – Packet calls for 1 pound of chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes.  Thighs would likely taste fine too.

1 medium tomato, chopped

3 cups of water combined with 3 cups of low sodium chicken broth (original recipe calls for all water)

1 cup of white basmati rice (I used brown which did complicate the recipe some given a longer cooking time) – Read directions carefully before starting recipe if using brown rice.  Otherwise you will waste time waiting for your rice!

1/4 cup sliced almonds (original recipe calls for cashew halves)

1/4 cup raisins

2 TBSP butter, melted (microwave 40 seconds)

Directions (Prep Time 15 minutes, Cook Time around 35 minutes white rice, 45 minutes plus if brown Biryani rice

  1. If using brown biryani, rinse with water mixing up the rice with a spin over a strainer prior to prepping your ingredients.  This will help cook the rice faster.
  2. Mix yogurt and seasoning mix, set aside
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat
  4. Add onion to skillet, cook and stir for 3 minutes
  5. If using brown biryani and directions note cooking time for 40 minutes, begin prepping your brown rice now; otherwise skip to step 6 now .  Bring water/chicken stock to a boil in medium saucepan on medium high heat.  Add rinsed rice.  Stir.  Once the water begins to boil, cook your brown rice for 20 minutes uncovered on medium heat (vs medium high).  Drain rice in strainer, discarding liquid.
  6. Stir into skillet, prepped chicken (if using chicken), tomato and yogurt mixture.  If using shrimp see step 7 for adding shrimp which takes less time to cook.
  7. Bring skillet to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; (if using shrimp add now); cover skillet and simmer for 10 minutes
  8. If using white biryani, while covered skillet is simmering in step 7 above, begin to bring water/chicken stock to a boil in medium saucepan on medium high heat.  Add rice.  Stir.  Once the water begins to boil cook your white rice for 5 minutes uncovered on medium high heat.  Drain rice in strainer, discarding liquid.
  9. Spoon rice on top of shrimp (or chicken) mixture.  Sprinkle with nut choice above and raisins.   Drizzle with melted butter.
  10. Cover with tight fitting lid.  Cook on low heat 15-20 minutes if white rice – although cook further if rice is not ready.  Add a little bit of water if necessary to cook rice longer.  If using brown rice cook on low heat 25-30 minutes  although cook further if rice is not ready.  Add a little bit of water if necessary to cook rice longer.
  11. Let stand at least five minutes off heat covered before serving.

Prepped ingredients below

 

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Yogurt mixed with spice packet

 

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Uncooked slice onions

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Browned onions

 

 

 

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After shrimp added

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Drained cooked rice

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Just before covering skillet

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Adding in rice, nuts, raisins

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Quick stir

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Final dish

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