Prawns / Shrimp / Chemmeen Biryani

Its been long since I made biriyani, wait there is some correction in the sentence.. its been a long time since I made biriyani in Bahrain. When I went to India a few months back for my hols, I made chicken biriyani (actually WE made, my sis in law was also there) and the reason.. my bro was bugging me so much saying that am an internet cooking fraud :) He never had food cooked by me, so his conclusion is that all the posts in my blog are a result of some fraudulent activities :)

He cannot be blamed, I never used to do any cooking before my wedding and for that part I never even dared to hold raw meat or fish, I used to stand 10 ft away from those things. Now when I think about it, though am embarrassed to say, I must admit I was such a fussy pot, hhmmm….If my husband reads this sentence, he will say some correction is there in this sentence too..”not was a fussy pot”, he will correct it as “is a fussy pot” ;)

Anyways, I made biriyani here (Bahrain) for last xmas, so its almost a year. That's a long gap right? Recently when I was chatting with my cousin sis, she said she makes biriyani almost like once in 2 weeks, so that ignited the craving for biriyani…

I've bookmarked this recipe long time back….again, this recipe comes from my friend Divya. If you are a regular reader of my blog, am sure you know her well through my posts :) I think I will have to create a new category called Div's recipes :) She emailed me this recipe saying this is her mom's all time hit prawns biriyani. I tried it and it was a hit here too…so guys go ahead and try it.

Hey, one more thing…I've published a prawns biriyani before and if you asks me what's new in this… the main difference is that this is prepared in a typical biriyani style and the other more in a pulav style. Anyways you can see it for yourself:)

Here is the recipe:

Prawns Biriyani
  • Save

Prawns / Shrimp / Chemeen Biriyani

Print Pin
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Author: Maria Jose Martin


For the rice:

  • 3 cups Basmati rice
  • 5 cups Water
  • 6 each Cardamom & clove
  • 1 medium size stick Cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp Ghee
  • 3-4 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt

For the masala:

  • 1/2 kg Prawns (cleaned & deviened)
  • 2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tbsp Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper powder
  • 3 med – big Onions (chopped finely)
  • 5-6 Green chilli
  • 2-3 medium Tomato (chopped finely)
  • 1/3 cup Grated Coconut
  • 2-3 tbsp Chopped Coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt
  • 6-8 Cashews (soaked in 2 tbsp water, optional (refer notes))
  • 1 tsp Garam masala

For garnishing:

  • Cashews & raisins – 1 handful each
  • 1 medium Onion (sliced finely)
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp Ghee – 1 tbsp


  • Rice preparation:
  • Wash and soak the rice in water for 25 minutes. Drain the water completely. Boil 6 cups water with half the quantity of whole masala & keep it aside. Heat ghee in a vessel/pan, splutter the remaining whole masala and add the rice. Fry the rice for around 5-7 minutes or until the rice starts cracking. Add the boiled water, lemon juice & salt. Cook till the rice is done and water is completely dried. Spread the rice in a tray & keep aside.
  • Masala preparation:
  • 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 grind together a handful of coconut & coriander leaves with a little water & keep it aside. Also grind the soaked cashews into a smooth paste.
  • Shallow fry the marinated prawns after the specified time. Once the prawns are fried, keep it aside and use the same oil to cook onions, remaining ginger garlic paste (1 tbsp) and green chilli. Once onions are fried well, add chopped tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are cooked, add curd, coconut, coriander leaves paste. Once it boils add fried prawns and cook in low flame for 5-6 minutes. Add the cashew paste & 1 tsp of garam masala. Mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes & remove from fire.
  • Garnishing:
  • Heat ghee in a pan and fry the cashews & raisins. Remove them from the pan & in the remaining ghee fry the onions till it becomes golden brown. Drain the excess ghee in a paper towel & keep it aside.
  • Layering the Biriyani:
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree 10 minutes before baking the biriyani. Apply some ghee to a baking dish. Put one layer of masala in the dish. 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 & sprinkle coriander leaves in between the layers. Cover the dish with a wet cloth. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.Refer notes for Stove top method.
  • Garnish the baked biriyani with fried cashew, raisins, onions & coriander leaves. Serve hot with pickle, raita & pappad.


Stove Top Method:
If you dont have an oven to bake the biriyani, do the following method.
1. Layer the rice and masala in a greased heavy bottomed vessel/non stick pan & cover it with a tight lid.
2. Heat a thava/dosa kallu, when it is really hot, place the biriyani vessel on top of that. Reduce the heat to the lowest flame & cook for 20-25 mins. Keep the heat at the lowest flame throughout, otherwise it might get burnt.
3. Also place a pan of boiling water on top of the biriyani vessel at the same time.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
Share via
Copy link