Malabar Prawn (Shrimp) Biryani

Here is yet another biryani from the Malabar region in Southern India .I had posted the recipe of  the very famous and delicious Kozhikodan Chicken biryani couple of weeks earlier which was loved by many readers.The shrimp or prawn biryani is another variation of the biryani from Malabar, very  delicious and a delight of any sea food lover . We are big sea food fans ,coming from a coastal state and prefer it over any other dish! Fish biryani can also be prepared similarly , King fish is normally used in Malabar Fish biryani.Today’s recipe uses shrimp .Without much ramblings, let me directly take you to the ingredients , recipe and cooking process.Enjoy!

Malabar Prawn(shrimp) Biriyani

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium-high
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A very popular dish from Kozhikode or Malabar with prawn and layered rice based on Malabar Indian cuisine

Its preferable to use Jeerakasala or Kaima rice for the authentic taste. I have however used Basmati rice. Other varieties of raw rice can be also used .It is preferred to liberally use ghee (clarified butter) for biryani to get the authentic taste (I use a combination of ghee and oil ).Feel free to adjust the quantities and spices to your liking.


For Rice

  • 4 cups  Basmati Rice
  • 4 teaspoon ghee or Clarified Butter
  • 4 tsp oil
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 3-4  stick  cinnamon (small pieces)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-6 cardamoms
  • 1/2 an onion diced
  • salt per taste
  • 5 cups Water

For  Shrimp/Prawn marination

  • 1 pack of fresh or frozen shrimp thawed (25-30)
  • red chilly powder 2 tsp
  • garam masala 1/4 tsp
  • turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • lemon juice 1 tsp
  • ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
  • salt to taste
  • 2 to 3 curry leaves

For Masala

  • Oil 3 -4 tbsp
  • Ghee 2 tbsp
  • onion 1 cup sliced
  • ginger garlic paste 2 tbsp
  • tomato 1 cup chopped
  • green chillies 5 finely chopped
  • mint leaves 1/4 cup
  • coriander leaves 1/4 cup
  • curd 1/4 cup
  • lemon juice 1 tsp
  • biryani masala or garam masala 1 tsp
  • red chilly powder 1/2 tsp
  • black pepper powder 1/4 tsp
  • turmeric 1/4 tsp

For Garnish and Layering

  • 1 fried onion cut into long thin stripes
  • 10 cashews
  • 10 raisins
  • ghee for frying
  • 1 sprig of mint leaves
  • coriander leaves chopped
  • garam masala 1/4 tsp
  • milk 3 tbsp
  • saffron few strands
  • ghee 2 tbsp
  • oil 2 – 3 tbsp


Shrimp(Prawn) Marination

  1. De-vein and clean the prawn with salt and water .
  2. Marinate it with  the ingredients in the “For Shrimp/Prawn marination” section  for about 15 to 20 mins

Rice Preparation and garnishes

  1. Wash the rice, drain and keep aside
  2. Heat a thick bottomed pan , add the ghee and oil
  3. Add the thin sliced onions and fry until crisp golden brown
  4. Drain and keep aside.
  5. Add the cashews and raisins ,brown it as well
  6. Drain and keep aside.
  7. The thin fried onions, cashews and raisins will be used for garnishing.
  8. In the remaining ghee and oil, add the spices under the “For rice” section
  9. Next add the diced onions and sautée
  10. After 2 mins add the washed rice
  11. Fry for about 5 to 7 mins until the rice turns opaque
  12. Add the salt and water and cook until done in a rice cooker
  13. Wait for the steam to be released and rice to be cooled.
  14. Soak the saffron in the milk and keep aside

Shrimp gravy Preparation

  1. Pour ghee and oil in a large deep bottomed pan and fry the shrimp for about 5 minutes.
  2. Drain and keep aside.
  3. Add a little more oil and ghee
  4. Add ginger garlic paste,green chillies and tomatoes and keep frying till it is mushy.
  5. Add chopped mint and coriander leaves
  6. Add dry spices red chilly powder, turmeric, pepper and garam masala  ,sautée for another 5 mins
  7. Add curd and lemon juice and stir continuously
  8. Add 1/3 of the fried onions kept aside for garnish
  9. There should be a nice gravy by now
  10. Add the fried shrimp and mix well
  11. Add some chopped coriander leaves and squeeze a little lemon.

Layering biryani and garnishing

  1. Next process is layering of the biryani, transfer the cooked rice into a big bowl and garnish with fried onions,cashews ,raisins,chopped mint and coriander leaves
  2. Then add a layer of the shrimp gravy and repeat layering with rice, shrimp and again layer with garnish onions , nuts ,raisins, mint and coriander leaves.
  3. Gently mix and fluff so the gravy is evenly mixed into the rice.
  4. Squeeze half a lemon if you like (optional).
  5. Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves,  and the remaining garnishes.
  6. Add ghee, saffron soaked milk and sprinkle some garam masala on top of the rice.
  7. Cover with a tight lid and keep on the lowest heat for about 20 minutes
  8. Open the lid, fluff up the rice and  biryani is now ready to be served.
  9. Accompaniments that are usually served with this dish  are fritters (pappad), yogurt salad .Enjoy 🙂

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  • indianeskitchen
    March 27, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I have never thought about cinnamon in rice dish before! Great idea!!

    • InspiresN
      March 27, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      Cinnamon and cloves are used in combination in many Indian biryanis and dishes and gives a wonderful taste and aroma! Thank you for stopping by!

  • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso
    March 27, 2018 at 10:27 am

    This looks so good! Love the seasonings you have here.

    • InspiresN
      March 27, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you Ronit, yes indeed the varieties of spices used gives the biryani a very unique flavor !

  • ffflavours
    March 27, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Will try it soon..

    • InspiresN
      March 27, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      I would be happy to hear how it turned out! Thank you!

  • Prashasti Patel
    March 27, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Looking delicious 😋😋😋.

    • InspiresN
      March 27, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks a lot!

  • iScriblr
    March 27, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Wow! Looks scrumptious! 😛

    • InspiresN
      March 27, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks so much!

  • The Karavali Wok
    March 27, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Love Biryani and this looks so delectable 😍 Beautifully presented 👌

    • InspiresN
      March 27, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks a lot , hope you try this sometime, it is very delicious !

  • Lace n Plaid
    March 27, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    I am drooling…thanks to you! 😉

    • InspiresN
      March 27, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      Awww.Thanks for the lovely comment!

  • a mindful traveler
    March 28, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Soooo yum! My kind of Biryani! X

    • InspiresN
      March 28, 2018 at 9:27 am

      Thank you Lorelle, it’s my favorite as well!

  • jyo
    March 29, 2018 at 12:30 am

    Absolutely love the masala ❤ biryani is always ❤❤

    • InspiresN
      March 29, 2018 at 10:06 am

      Thanks dear! glad you like it!

  • Vidya Narayan
    April 2, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Perfectly cooked rice and amazing burst of flavours! Malabar in a bowl with their speciality seafood. Great share!

    • InspiresN
      April 2, 2018 at 11:39 am

      Well said my friend indeed it has wonderful flavors!

  • Pinkey Barua
    April 9, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Shrimp Biryani is just awesome. Love the way you have presented step by step recipe. Keep up the good work and look forward for more such interesting and intriguing recipes.

    • InspiresN
      April 9, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Plantsandbeyond
    April 15, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Aaaaaaahhhh, This is my fave Indian dish-I am not indian, but cook it for my family at my own house. Now that I have seen it, making it again this week.

    • admininspiresn
      April 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      Nice to hear that you cook Indian dishes , glad to hear you got the inspiration to try it again!

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