Breathing in the salty, balmy sea breeze of the Arabian Sea is a memory I never forget - growing up in Karachi with lazy, hot Sundays by the beach, nothing came as close to comfort food as this Green masala prawn biryani - a celebration of fresh seafood, coriander leaves, chillis and mint infused with bay leaves, cardamom and carom seeds - nothing quite like eating fragrant prawn biryani by the seaside.
One who had never lived in Pakistan would rarely associates seaside picnics with Pakistan, but growing up in Karachi, the main port city, our beaches were alive with families at sunset enjoying fragrant seafood biryani or spicy fried fish. One of the most exciting outings in Karachi is that of ‘Crabbing’. You can hire a sailboat at the port for less than £5, with a skipper-cum-chef on board – you are taken outside the main port to areas where you can catch an abundance of prawns and crabs.
Once you gather your bounty, you're whipped up a spicy crab curry, red chilli and salt ‘Lolipops’ a crab claw dish accompanied with hot potato stir fry potatoes and naan bread. Sometimes we were treated with a prawn biryani, and this recipe is based on something I once had on one of these crabbing trips. Cooked in a green masala made of coriander, mint and green chilli plus the addition of carom seeds (Ajwain) this is a delectable dish that is infused with a aroma of the sea and the essence of Pakistani cooking - a celebration of fresh ingredients and a balance of flavours.