prawn biriyani

Prawn Biriyani (Shrimp biriyani)

Just 10 days until Christmas and everyone must be already planning their extravagant Christmas meals! Christmas in India was always about Biriyani and so I wanted to share a couple recipes of biriyani and some side dishes to go with it. This Prawn biriyani is a favorite in our house as I use a special combination of ingredients to achieve that hot and lip-smacking flavor! This is a fail-proof recipe of mine and you’ll find yourself making this time and again as it’s both convenient to make(using a pressure cooker) and has tons of flavor!


For the prawn marination: 

  • Prawns – ½ kg, peeled & deveined 
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon 
  • Turmeric – ½ teaspoon 
  • Red chilli powder – 2 teaspoons 
  • Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons 
  • Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon 
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • Cooking castor oil or vegetable oil – 1 teaspoon 

For the biriyani masala: 

  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 teaspoons 
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tablespoon 
  • Green chillies – 3 
  • Cinnamon stick – 2 inches 
  • Cloves – 3 
  • Cardamom – 2 
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig 
  • Coriander leaves/cilantro – ½ cup, chopped 

For the biriyani:

  • Coconut oil – 4 tablespoons 
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Onions – 3 medium, thinly sliced 
  • Tomatoes – 2 large, finely chopped 
  • Mint leaves – 1 cup, finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves – 1 cup, finely chopped
  • Green chilli – 1 large
  • Turmeric – 1 teaspoon  
  • Basmati rice – 2 cups 
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Coconut milk – 2 cups 
  • Salt to taste 


  1. Marinate the prawns for about 15-20 minutes in the ingredients mentioned. Wash and soak 2 cups of basmati rice in enough water for about 30 minutes. 
  2. In a large pressure cooker (5 litres), heat 4 tablespoons coconut oil and saute the prawns for about 3 minutes until half cooked. Transfer to a plate and keep aside. Use the same oil to saute the onions and bay leaf until caramelized and brown as it gives good flavor. While sauteing the onions, cover with a lid and stir every so often. Covering them while cooking creates moisture and caramelizes the onions well. This will take approx. 5 minutes. 
  3. Add in the tomatoes along with the green chilli, mint leaves and cilantro. Saute well until well combined and mushy. Cover and let it cook for 2 minutes until it forms a curry.
  4. In a blender, add in the ingredients required for the biriyani masala, pour ½ cup water and puree until smooth. 
  5. Add this paste to the pressure cooker and let it cook till the raw smells goes away. Add turmeric, 2 teaspoons salt and the sauteed prawns. Combine everything well. 
  6. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the pressure cooker. Pour in 1 cup of water and 2 cups of creamy coconut milk. Check for seasoning and add enough salt. 
  7. Close and secure the lid of the pressure cooker and let it cook for just 1 whistle. Turn off the stove and take it off the heat. Let the pressure release naturally and then open the lid. Your delicious prawn biriyani is ready! Serve hot with raita !

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