Shrimp/Prawn Biriyani

For Easter, I made a simple Shrimp Biryani after a long time. Most of us love Shrimp & Prawns and hence, what better ingredient to add to your biriyani. Unlike Chicken & Mutton biriyanis, this biryani is mildly spiced and with every bite of shrimp, you feel satisfied. I have used Coconut Milk in this biryani as it pairs well with Shrimp. We loved this delicious Shrimp Biriyani and I have decided to make it more often.

Shrimp Biryani

Shrimp/Prawn Biryani

Since Shrimp cooks very quickly, I cooked it separately and then added it to precooked Basmathi rice. Probably, I will try cooking the shrimp & rice together next time and see how it comes out.


For the Rice

  1. Long grain Basmati rice – 2 cups
  2. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  3. Oil – 2 tbsp
  4. Thinly Sliced Red Onions – 1 large
  5. Biriyani Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp
  6. Water – 3.5 to 4 cups (depending on the rice)
  7. Salt – to taste

For the Biriyani Masala Gravy

  1. Raw Shrimp/Prawns (Peeld & Deveined) – 1 lb (1/2 kg approx)
  2. Thinly Sliced Red Onions  – 1 large
  3. Diced Tomatoes – 2 medium
  4. Slit Green Chillies – 2 or 3
  5. Bay leaf – 1
  6. Cilantro (Malliyella) – 1/4 cup
  7. Chopped Mint leaves – 1/4 cup
  8. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  9. Chilly Powder – 1/2 tsp
  10. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  11. Home Made Biriyani Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  12. Fennel Seeds (Perumjeerakam) Powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  13. Thin Coconut Milk – 1 Cup
  14. Lemon Juice – 2 tbsp
  15. Salt- to taste
  16. Oil – 2 tbsp

For Marinating the Shrimp

  1. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  2. Fish Masala Powder – 1 tbsp (Any Store bought brand)
  3. Chilly Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
  5. Salt – to taste

Preparation Method

  1. Clean the shrimp and marinate it with the above ingredients. Keep it aside for atleast one hour.
  2. Wash the Basmati Rice thoroughly. Soak it for 15 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp ghee & 2 tbsp oil in a big non stick pan and add the red onions. Saute until they become light brown in color.
  4. Add the drained rice and gently stir fry for 4-5 minutes until the rice begins to change color.
  5. Add 3.5 to 4 cups of water to the pan along with salt to taste and 1/2 tsp biriyani masala powder.
  6. Bring everything to a boil. Cover and cook the rice on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 10-12 minutes until the water has been completely absorbed by the rice.
  8. Open the pan and fluff the rice with a fork.
  9. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and lightly fry the marinated shrimp for 3-4 minutes until it turns opaque and is lightly browned on the outside. You can do this in several batches. Remove the fried shrimp from the pan and keep aside.
  10. To the remaining oil in the same pan, add red onions and saute until translucent. Add the slit green chillies, bay leaf, chopped cilantro and mint leaves. Saute until the onions begin to brown.
  11. Next, add the chopped tomatoes and cook until mashed.
  12. Add the ginger and garlic paste and saute for a minute or two.
  13. Reduce heat and add 1/2  tsp chilly powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds powder and 1 tsp of biriyani masala powder.
  14. Add 1 cup of coconut milk to the pan along with salt to taste and mix well. Allow it to simmer for a while.
  15. Add the lightly fried shrimp to the masala gravy and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside.
  16. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 250 degree F. Apply some oil on a oven safe dish. Layer it with the cooked rice and the shrimp gravy alternatively. Sprinkle lemon juice in between.
  17. Cover with an aluminuim foil and bake for 30 minutes. It’s best to keep the biriyani for at least 4 hours before serving so that all flavors are absorbed well.
  18. Mix the biriyani gently before serving. Serve this Shrimp Biriyani with Raitha, Pickle and Pappad.


  • If you do not have a Conventional Oven at home, then you can layer the Biryani and cook it on stove top. Take a heavy bottomed pan and apply some oil. Layer it with Rice, Shrimp and Gravy as mentioned above. Cover the pan with a tight lid so that steam does not escape. You can also seal the lid with Chappathi dough. Cook the Biryani on very low heat for around 20 minutes.
  • To prevent the Biryani from burning at the bottom layer, it is better to cook it over indirect heat. Immerse this heavy bottomed pan in a bigger pan filled with little water and cook it on low heat for 20-30 minutes approx. You can also place the heavy-bottomed pan over a Tava or Frying pan instead of keeping it directly on stove-top and then allow it to cook over indirect heat.
  • You can also use Water for the gravy instead of Coconut Milk.
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