Food & Drink Magazine

Prawn Biryani/ Shrimp Pilaf

By Shazia @diary_of_a_home

Prawn Biryani Recipe

Chicken and lamb Biryani being the most popular versions among children and adults. This Prawn or jheenga Biryani is an ideal one pot main course for sea food lovers. 

The right combination of fragrant spices is what makes this rice and prawn dish so special. 

prawn biryani, jheenga biryani

Prawn Biryani Recipe

Star Ingredients for the Prawn Biryani:

The  right selection of the star ingredients, rice and prawns in this case is crucial for outstanding results. The best type of rice is long grain or basmati rice. You can also use sella rice for this recipe but be careful to use the directions of preparations given on the rice package.

The selection of prawn depends on your personal preference both fresh and frozen varieties can be used but be sure to thaw and drain the prawns if frozen. The making of Prawn Biryani inolves simple steps given below.

Prawn Biryani


750g basmati rice

700g prawns cleaned and deveined

1/4 cup cooking oil

1 large onion

2 tsp garlic paste

1/4 cup tomato puree

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 green chilli chopped

4 tbsp yogurt

1 cup fried onions

5 bay leaves

1'4 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup coriander leaves

1/2 tsp saffron soaked in 2 tbsp water


Grind all the ingredients for the biryani masala and set aside

8 cardamoms

2 cloves

2 stick cinnamon

1 tsp cumin seeds 

1/4 nutmeg powder

1/4 tsp mace powder

1 tsp coriander powder

2 whole red chillies

1. Marinate The Prawns:

First and foremost marinate the prawns with yogurt, red chilli powder, paprika powder,  turmeric,lemon juice salt and gram masala. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.

2. Prepare The Rice:

Prepare the rice by boiling a large pot of water with salt to taste. Add bay leaves and 4 cardamom to the boiling water. Add the pre soaked, washed and drained rice and cook the rice is 70% cooked. Drain the water and set aside.

3. Prepare the Prawn Gravy:

Fry the onions in oil until light golden brown in color. Add the garlic and cook until the raw smell goes away. Add the green chilli and cook for 2 minutes. Now add the tomato paste and Biryani masala. Cook covered until the oil separates. Add the marinated prawns and cook on high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. A little gravy should remain in the pot. Turn of the heat and set aside.

4. Assembling The Biryani:

First layer the prawn gravy, coriander and mint leaves followed by fried onions. Repeat the same sequence of layering until all the rice and prawn gravy has been finished. Last layer should be of rice. Pour the soaked saffron over the rice. Cover the pot with a tight lid put another pan or tawa/griddle under the pot and leave to cook on very low heat until the rice is fully cooked. Turn off the heat and leave to rest covered for a few minutes. Serve with raita and chutney.

Recipe Notes:

 If using frozen prawns, make sure to completely pat dry before cooking. You can use the same recipe for making prawn biryani in rice or pressure cooker.

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