Introduction: King Prawn Biryani

In three million years time, humanity will be almost extinct. [1] The last human alive (Dave Lister) will be facing his imminent death, and with that realisation will come regret.

Specifically, the only regret he will have is that he had never eaten a King Prawn Biryani: that whenever he'd seen it on the menu he had always played safe and gone with chicken or lamb.

Don't be like Dave. Have a King Prawn Biryani.

This is my take on an Indian dish which is very flavourful and uses lots of different spices, but which is not in the least "hot" and should be able to be enjoyed by anyone, even those people who don't like chilli.

In order to help people who share Dave's dislike of cleaning, most of the cooking is done in a rice cooker, and the few other dishes needed can be washed up while that is bubbling away to itself.

[1] Source:- "Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers", ISBN 978-0-4514-5201-6


The details and spices are given in the next two steps, and in the recipe file attached, but the headline figure is that you need about 400 grams (1lb) of raw prawns and a rice-cooker.

Step 1: Marinading the Prawns

To make the marinade, put a half cup of natural yoghurt into a large bowl.

Grate a thumb-sized piece of ginger and add that.

Peel and crush about half a bulb of garlic in there too.

Then add:-

1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 quill of cinnamon

and mix it all together.

Add 400grams (1lb) of raw prawns and stir it all around until all the prawns are thoroughly covered in the mixture.

Cover the bowl and leave in the refrigerator for the flavours to mingle. You should leave this for at least an hour, but overnight is better.

Given the potential consequences, make sure that your fridge is cold enough and that the prawns will still be within their use-by date.

Step 2: Cooking

Chop the onion, and cook it in the oil over a medium heat for a few minutes to soften.

While that's going, measure out two cups of long-grain rice into a sieve and rinse it until the water runs clear.

Drain the washed rice and put it into the rice-cooker, then add one and three-quarters cups of water.

Put the softened onions on top, and then add the marinaded prawns, plus all of the marinade.

Top off with four bay leaves and ten cardamom pods, put the lid on and set the cooker going. This should take about twenty to twenty-five minutes, depending on your rice and your cooker.

Step 3: Serving

When the rice cooker clicks off, it's ready! If you don't like surprises, you might want to fish the cardamom pods out before dishing up, but I leave them in. The bay-leaves can be discarded, or used as a nice-looking garnish.

I like to serve garlic naan and mango chutney with this, as they all work quite well together.

The quantities in the recipe give four portions, and if you can't eat them all at once, then it actually freezes quite well.

Now to try and replicate Lister's favourite mealtime drink of a lager-flavoured milkshake...

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