Chemmeen Biriyani Puttu

Biriyani puttu

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For prawn masala

1. Chemmeen / prawns, medium or large – 22 – 25 (Around 350 – 400 gm)

2. Ghee / coconut oil – 2 tbsp

3. Onion – 2 cups, thinly sliced

4. Ginger – 3/4 inch, roughly chopped

Garlic – 4 large

Green chilies – 3 – 4 (Use 2 green chilies for mildly spiced biriyani)

5. Tomato – 1 small, chopped

6. Curry leaves – A few, chopped

Mint leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped

Cilantro – 2 tbsp, chopped

7. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

8. Cashews – 1.5 tbsp (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)

Yoghurt – 2 tbsp

9. Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp

10. Salt – To taste

For rice

11. Jeerakashala / kaima rice – 1.5 cup, soaked in enough water for 20 – 30 minutes and drained

12. Ghee – 1 – 1.5 tbsp

13. Whole spices – cardamom – 3, cloves – 4, cinnamon stick – 1 inch, bay leaf –1

14. Water – 2 cups

15. Salt – To taste

16. Fried onion – 1/4 cup

Fried cashews and raisins – 2 tbsp each


1. Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil / ghee in a pan at medium heat. Saute onion adding little salt for 2 minutes. Add ginger-garlic-green chilly mixture. Saute until onion turns browned. Add tomato, curry leaves, chopped mint leaves and cilantro. Cover and cook for a few minutes at medium-low heat until tomato turns mushy. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and cook for a minute. Add cleaned prawns, salt and mix well. Cook covered for two minutes. Add cashew-yoghurt paste. Mix well and cook covered for a few minutes. Add garam masala powder. Switch off when the prawns are well-coated with the gravy. Sprinkle a tbsp of chopped mint and cilantro. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile heat ghee in a pan/pressure cooker at medium heat. Add whole spices numbered 13 and stir until fragrant. Next add drained jeerakashala rice and fry for a few minutes at medium-low heat. Add hot water, salt and bring to a boil. Taste-check for salt. The water should be slightly salty. Cover and cook until done. Switch off. Open the lid after 8 – 10 minutes. Sprinkle fried cashews, raisins and fried onion. Mix gently.

3.  Now start filling the  chiratta puttu maker/ cylindrical puttu maker. Put the small steel plate with holes inside the puttu maker mould. Now to prepare biriyani puttu, add some cooked rice as the first layer in the puttu mould. Next add 2 – 3 pieces of shrimp masala. Loosely fill the remaining portion with the cooked rice. If using cylindrical mould, add one or two more layers of shrimp masala (the biriyani may not hold shape if you are using cylindrical mould). Cover the puttu mould  with the lid. Meanwhile fill the pressure cooker (or the bottom vessel of the puttu maker that you are using) with water equal to 1/3rd or half its volume. Bring it to a boil. Place the puttu mould on top of the pressure cooker when steam starts coming out of the pressure cooker lid. Steam cook the biriyani puttu for about 5 – 8  minutes or until steam starts coming out profusely through the small holes on top of the chiratta putu maker lid. Cook for 2 more minutes and switch off. Open the lid and gently invert it onto a serving plate. Serve with biriyani chammathi, dates pickle / lemon pickle, raita and pappadam.


Chemmeen biriyani puttu

Biriyani Chammanthi Recipe

Grated coconut – 1/2 cup

Mint leaves – 10

Cilantro / coriander leaves – 1/4 – 1/2 cup

Green chilies – 2

Ginger – 1/2 tsp

Garlic – 1 small clove

Pearl onion – 1 small

Tamarind – 1/2 tsp

Salt – To taste

Grind the above ingredients in the small jar of a mixie.

Recipe adapted from here

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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  • Hi Maya,
    Thanks for the recipe, it was turned out very nice, and this was our weekend special in the last week. I tried Biriyani, and chammanthi, both of them came out very well. My husband loves it. I am always happy when I see him enjoy food I make.

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