Malabar Prawn Biriyani

Malabar prawn biriyani

Ingredients (Serves 5 – 6)

1. Prawns – 1/2 kg (Around 30 – 35 large)

    Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp

    Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

    Kashmiri chilly powder – 1 tsp

    Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp

    Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp

    Salt – To taste

Marinate prawns with the above ingredients for at least 30 minutes.

Other ingredients

To fry

2. Oil – 1/4 cup

    Cashews – 3 tbsp

    Raisins – 3 tbsp

    Onion – 1.5 cup, thinly sliced

For the prawn Masala

3. Onion – 2 cups, thinly sliced

4. Ginger-garlic paste –  2.5 tsp

    Green chilies – 2, chopped or coarsely ground

    Curry leaves – A few

5. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

    Kashmiri chilly powder – 1/2 tsp

    Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp

    Garam masala powder – 1 tsp

7. Tomato – 2 medium-large, chopped

8. Mint leaves – 10 – 15, chopped

   Cilantro – 1/4 cup, chopped

   Lemon juice – 1 tsp

9. Salt  To taste

To cook rice

10. Jeerakashala rice / kaima rice / basmati rice – 2 cups (Soaked in enough water for 20 minutes and then drained)

11. Ghee – 2 tbsp

      Whole spices – Cardamom – 4, cumin or fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp, whole pepper corns – 1/2 tsp, cinnamon stick –1 inch, bay leaves – 2,  cloves – 6

      Onion – 1/4 cup, thinly sliced

      Hot water – 3 cups

     Salt – To taste

     Lemon juice – 3/4 tsp

12. Chopped mint and cilantro – 1/2 cup each

     Garam masala powder – 3/4 – 1 tsp

     Saffrom – 1 pinch (Soaked in 3 tbsp hot milk)


1. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a pan. Add in the raisins and fry until plump. Drain on to a paper towel. Next fry cashews until golden and drain. Add thinly sliced onion, a pinch of salt and fry until onion turns brown. Drain and keep aside.

2. Fry the marinated prawns in the remaining oil (add more oil if required). Transfer them to a plate and set aside until ready to use.

3. In the remaining oil, add thinly sliced onions, little salt and saute until transparent. Add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chilies, curry leaves and continue to saute until onion changes color. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, pepper powder and garam masala powder. Saute until their raw smell leaves. Add chopped tomatoes, salt and continue to saute until tomatoes get mashed up completely. Add chopped mint and cilantro. Taste-check for salt. Finally add the cooked shrimp and mix well. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes at low heat. Add a tsp of lemon juice, mix well and switch off the stove.


To cook ghee rice

4. Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pressure cooker or any vessel. Add the whole spices and stir until fragrant. Next add thinly sliced onion and stir until transparent. Add drained biriyani rice and fry for 30 seconds. Add 3 cups of hot water, a tsp of lemon juice and salt, to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover with lid and cook until steam starts coming out profusely. Put on the cooker whistle. Bring down the heat to low and cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Switch off the stove. Open the cooker after10 – 15 minutes. The rice will be perfectly cooked. Gently fluff the rice using a fork and set aside.

5. To layer

  In a heavy-bottomed vessel (you can use the one in which you cooked prawn masala), spread half of the prawn masala in the bottom part. Top it with half of the cooked ghee rice. Sprinkle fried onion, cashews, raisins, chopped mint, cilantro and a little saffron milk. Spread the remaining prawn masala on top followed by remaining ghee rice. Sprinkle fried onion, cashews, raisins, mint etc. Cover tightly with aluminium foil and place the lid. Keep it on a large hot tawa/griddle( traditionally the lid is sealed using atta dough). Cook on dum for 10 – 15 minutes at medium-low heat. Switch off. Set aside for 15 minutes. Mix gently. Serve hot with raita, biriyani chammanthi, pappadam and date-lemon pickle.


Malabar prawn biriyani

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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