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Shrimp Biryani

Shrimp Biryani is a delicately flavoured rice biryani that uses shrimp as the primary non-vegetarian ingredient and may or may not employ the use of secondary ingredients like vegetables, eggs etc. This main dish combines the best of seafood and rice to produce a delectable food item enjoyed all over India and particularly famous along the coastal regions.

The advantage of Shrimp Biryani is that it is easy to prepare and gets done faster because shrimps hardly require time to cook. Also the incomparable flavour of shrimp makes this a favourite choice at restaurants as well as a part of the domestic menu. It can be made spicy if desired.

Ingredients and Preparation

Shrimp- cleaned, shelled and deveined, aromatic long grain Basmati rice, onion, ginger garlic paste, green chillies, coconut, garam masala powder, lime juice, cashew nuts, raisins, whole spices – cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, salt and clarified butter (ghee).

A paste needs to be made of ginger garlic paste, green chillies, coconut, garam masala powder and soaked cashews. In ghee or oil in a pan, sliced onions are fried after whole spices; the paste is added and fried till rawness disappears. Shrimp is added next with salt and mixed well till coated with the masala. Pre-soaked rice is separately cooked in a pan after gentle frying along with whole spices. Rice and shrimp mixture are carefully combined together and then baked to complete the dish with a final garnishing of fried raisins, cashews, cilantro and a sprinkling of lime juice.

Nutrition Information

A serving size of 1 plate approximately 307 g provides-

• Total of 508.6 calories, with 27 calories from fat.

• Total fat 3.0 g, saturated fat 0.6 g, cholesterol 265.8 mg.

• Sodium 533.9 mg.

• Total carbohydrate 80.9 g, dietary fibre 1.6 g, sugars 0.6 g.

• Protein 35.4 g.

Nutritional Enhancement

Although the Shrimp Biriyani and Prawns Biryani are much accepted dishes in India, the only drawback is their relatively high cholesterol content.

• Use of olive oil in place of clarified ghee would help reduce the saturated fat content.

• Use of brown rice would lend not only a characteristic flavour but also supply some essential fibre and B-vitamins too.

• Fenugreek seeds maybe used along with other whole spices owing to its cholesterol and blood sugar lowering properties.

• Addition of some thinly sliced cabbage strips would add Vitamin C, Potassium, fibre and anti-cancer properties. Using Bok Choy would supply calcium that helps to combat osteoporosis and aid in blood pressure maintenance.

• Addition of tomatoes could increase lycopene content known for its cancer fighting abilities and detoxification. Tomatoes are also reported to improve digestive health, lower hypertension, prevent oxidation of LDL, thereby reducing coronary artery disease risk as well as risk of macular degeneration in the eye.