The aroma of a good biryani is intoxicating as it cooks away slowly. Meat, spices and the fragrant Basmati rice make it a hearty, robust, all-in-one meal.
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Biryani is a rice-based dish cooked with a whole mess of different spices, and usually, though not always, some kind of meat. When that meat is lamb or beef, it consequently takes some time to cook, which means I don't get to write about this dish too often. But this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's At Home with Madhur Jaffrey solves that problem by using shrimp, so that this dish can be whipped up in less than hour with absolutely no shortcuts.
Rice can sit on the sidelines sometimes, acting as a starchy support. Not so in the case of biryani. Baked with all sorts of sweet, heady aromatics as well as deeply caramelized onions, this Shrimp Biryani from The Food52 Cookbook by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs makes a main event out of delicate basmati rice.