Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Prawns Biriyani

Yippee!!! My Favourite. Ok any type of biriyani is my favourite. I guess Prawns biriyani was the first recipe I made after deciding to join this Mega Blogging Marathon and this was the first time I made it - I mean with prawns. It came out splendid. Fortunately I also got big sized prawns which added to the flavour. I make biriyanis quite often, which is like once in 2 weeks. I feel biriyani is more easier to cook than making rice, 2 curries, 2 side dishes etc etc for a weekend menu.

Now its my turn to over-load the post with photos. I put 3-4 photos in one post generally. But with this recipe I was not able to finalize on those 3-4 and this being my favourite recipe I had clicked many and all of them turned out to be worth publishing... Well according to me...

Prawns are named Chemmeen. So this recipe is Chemmeen biriyani. I didn't want to do this post in 'C' because I had lot of options for the alphabet C and very less options for the alphabet 'P'. 

I have made this biriyani malabar style. In malabar side, they make the ghee rice (nei chor) separately then the biriyani masala and then mix both and make a dum out of it. As I have said in my previous biriyani related posts - in Kerala biriyanis are not made with basmati rice. They are made with a very small type of rice called jeeraga samba or gandhaga shala rice. Currently the price of this rice ranges in between 70-80 rs per kg. And this raw rice has an awesome smell. When you wash the rice itself you can feel the smell floating in air. Enough said - over to recipe.


For Ghee rice:
Jeeraga samba / Gandaga shala / Jeera rice - 450 gms
Ghee / nei - 3 tbsp
Cinnamon / patta - 2 1" piece
Cardamom / elakka- 4
Cloves / lavangam- 8
Lemon juice - 1/2 a lemon
Bay leaf / karuvapatta ila- 1
Saunf / Perunjeeragam - 1 tsp
Maze / jathi pathri - few strands
Peppercorns / kurumilagu - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 4 slitted lengthwise
Water : rice - 2:1
Salt - to taste

To garnish:

Ghee / nei - 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts / andiparuppu - 1 tbsp
Raisins / munthiri - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves - few
Mint leaves - few

Biriyani masala:

King sized prawns - 500 gms
Oil - 4 tbsp
Onions - 4 large - chopped lengthwise
Tomato - 1 - chopped lengthwise
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Green chillies - 2 chopped
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Coconut - 2 tbsp
Curd - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp


For the Ghee rice / Nei chor:

  • Clean the rice and wash it thoroughly 2-3 times. Soak it in water for 10-15 minutes
  • Meanwhile heat the pressure cooker in which we are planning to prepare the rice.
  • Add 1 tbsp of ghee. When the ghee is hot add the cashews and raisins and fry until they turn light brown. Keep it aside.
  • Now add another 3 tbsp of ghee. Add all the dry masala items listed under "For ghee rice". Fry for a minute.
  • Add the slit green chillies and fry for about a minute.
  • Add the drained rice and fry for 3-4 minutes. 
  • For me 450 grams rice equalled 3 glasses of rice. So I added 6 glasses of water.
  • Add the required amount of salt. Stir well and let the water boil.
  • After boiling for about 3-4 minutes when the water has reached half the quantity and when the rice:water looks like a semi-solid consistency add the lemon juice and mix well. Now close the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook for one whistle and lower the flame and cook for about 2 minutes. Switch off the pressure cooker after 2 minutes.
  • When the pressure is released, open the pressure cooker and spread the rice in a flat plate or a big bowl.

For the biriyani masala:

  • Marinate the prawns with 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, pepper powder and salt and keep it for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
  • Meanwhile heat a kadai. Add 1 tsp of oil. Add the coconut, half the quantity of the chopped onions, chopped green chillies and fry until they turn light brown. At this stage add the coriander powder and switch off the flame. Keep stirring for about a minute. Once this mixture is cooled grind it with a little water and keep it aside.
  • In the same kadai add 4 tbp of oil. Shallow fry the marinated prawns. Just ensure that the prawns have turned white from the translucent color. Drain in a paper towel and keep it aside.
  • Use the same oil to cook onions and remaining ginger garlic paste. Once onions are fried well, add chopped tomatoes and stir well.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked, add curd, coconut paste and salt. Once it boils add fried prawns and cook in low flame for 5-6 minutes. Add the garam masala and pepper powder and mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes & remove from fire.

Layering the Biriyani or making a dum biriyani:

  • Take a large microwave safe bowl. Apply some ghee in the bottom. Put one layer of rice and then one layer of masala in the dish, garnish with little bit of cashews/raisins/coriander leaves/mint leaves. 
  • On top of that spread some rice and make another layer. Again spread another layer of masala on top of the rice. 
  • Repeat the process until the masala and rice is finished. The top layer should be of rice. You can drizzle ghee at the top if needed. Add some coriander leaves in the top.
  • Microwave high for about 5 minutes.

Flavorful malabar chemmeen biriyani is ready!!! I served with raitha, biriyani chammandhi and papads!!


  • Lemon juice is added to keep the rice separate. So don't miss it.
  • The layering of the biriyani can also be done on stove-top. Heat a tava. Place the bowl with layered biriyani on top of the tava. Also place a vessel of hot boiling water on top of the biriyani bowl. Keep this for 5 minutes. 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63



  1. That's a good choice for P...I am sure this is much loved..

  2. Very hard to resist to this incredible briyani, my mouth is just watering here.

  3. We love biryani and make it almost every weekend. Malabar style biryani looks flavorful and tasty.

  4. I prefer jeeraga samba to basmati rice. Your biryani looks very nice..

  5. Cant wait to try this version with vegetables. Yum

  6. Lovely biriyani recipe..I too prefer jeeraga samba for biriyani. But I get it rarely get it here..

  7. Biryani looks colorful and flavorful Ruchi. Very tempting....Except rice, I have all ingredients and want to make it soon.

  8. I love making biryanis too because of the same reason you said -- it's much easier to make than a rice with 3~4 sides :-) Prawn biryani looks amazing.

  9. The whole set up looks great . I am sure prawn lovers will enjoy it .

  10. Your biryani looks so good. I love biryanis over all other rice dishes :)

  11. I am yet to taste jeeraga samba rice. Should be flavorful for biriyanis!

  12. Very nice and flavorful biryani.

  13. I would love to try this kerala style biryani as I love any type of seafood