• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chopped raw cashews
  • 6 whole cardamom pods, crushed
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped (about 1 lb)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1-½ lb. peeled deveined shrimp, 31-40 per lb
  • ½ teaspoon each chili powder, turmeric and pepper
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • cup lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon saffron, toasted for 30-60 sec


1. Add 1 tbsp oil to a 10-12 inch pan, over medium heat. Add cashews, cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon and cumin, and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
2. Heat the remaining oil over medium high heat, add the onions and garlic, and sautÈ until limp, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, chili powder, turmeric, pepper and 1/2 tsp salt, and the cashew spice mixture. Cook, stirring frequently until the shrimp just begin to get pink, about 2 minutes, reduce the heat and stir in the yogurt. Continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Remove th cinnamon and bay leaves.
3. Bring 2-1/2 quarts of water to a boil, and add the rice. Cook uncovered 7-8 minutes until the rice is almost tender. Drain the rice, and set in a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice, and salt to taste.
4. In a buttered 3-1/2 quart baking dish, layer 1/3 of the rice and 1/2 of the shrimp, ending with the final 1/3 of the rice. Sprinkle with the saffron threads. Cover tightly with foil, and bake about 20-25 minutes in a 350°F oven until the rice is hot in the center. Serve immediately with raita.

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