Biryani is an Indian dish thought to have been brought to India by Arab traders and has an etymology stemming from the Persian word for rice. Since it is the first day of Spring, it is also Nowruz, a new year’s celebration which is observed by more than 300 million people from the Balkans to the Black Sea Basin to Central Asia to the Middle East. Plus the Indian Spring festival of Holi is also occurring. I am always looking for an inspiration to cook something and today’s shrimp biryani seems like a good way to celebrate Spring.
John marinates the shrimp in the same spices I am using for the rice – ginger, chili powder, smoked paprika, turmeric, salt, and garlic. I am making the basmati rice in the Instant Pot using those spices plus a can of tomatoes, water, onions, and lime zest which is standing in for curry leaves today. When the rice is cooked, I add some lime juice to it and John quickly sautés the shrimp. Our Spring dinner is garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.