Malabar Prawn (Shrimp) Biryani

Malabar shrimp (Prawn) biryani

Malabar Prawn (Shrimp) Biryani 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. It is very delicious and the delight of any seafood lover.

The Malabar biryanis are very popular for their unique taste. Being a coastal city, the fish and seafood obtained there are so fresh and nothing can beat the taste. So do plan to taste the seafood when you visit the Malabar region without fail.

How to make Malabar Prawn (Shrimp)  biryani?

 Today’s recipe uses shrimp. To make the Biryani the prawns are marinated in a spicy gravy and fried. The rice is then prepared separately and then layered with the prawn gravy and garnishes. The biryani will taste even better when kept for a while as all the juice of the prawns is soaked by the rice. We are big seafood fans, coming from a coastal state, and prefer it over any other dish! Fish biryani can also be prepared similarly, Kingfish is normally used in Malabar Fish biryani.

The condiments that can go along with this biryani are curd salad, Pappad, pickle. It can be even had as is. This is a great dish for potlucks and get-togethers as well. Without many ramblings, let me directly take you to the ingredients, recipe, and cooking process. Enjoy!

5 from 2 votes
Malabar shrimp (Prawn) biryani
Malabar Prawn Shrimp Biryani
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins

Malabar Prawn Shrimp Biryani is a very popular dish from Kozhikode or Malabar with prawn  and layered rice based on Malabar Indian cuisine

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, kerala, malabar
Keyword: Malabar Prawn Biryani, Malabar Shrimp biryani, prawn, shrimp
For Rice
  • 4 cups 4 cups  Basmati Rice
  • 4 tsp ghee or Clarified Butter
  • 4 tsp oil
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 3-4  cinnamon (small pieces)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-6 cardamoms
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 tsp salt per taste
  • 5  cups Water
For  Shrimp/Prawn marination
  • 1 packet fresh or frozen shrimp thawed 25-30
  • 2 tsp 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
  • 2-3 curry leaves
For Masala
  • 3-4 tbsp Oil 3
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 cup Onion sliced
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 cup tomato
  • 5-6 green chilies chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup curd
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp biryani masala or garam masala
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
For Garnish and Layering
  • 2 onion cut into long thin stripes
  • 10 cashews
  • 10 raisins
  • 5 tbsp ghee for frying
  • 1 sprig 1 sprig of mint leaves
  • 1 cup coriander leaves chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3-4 saffron few strands
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
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. Add the cashews and raisins ,brown it as well

  5. The thin fried onions, cashews and raisins will be used for garnishing.

  6. In the remaining ghee and oil, add the spices under the "For rice" section

  7. Next add the diced onions and sautée

  8. After 2 mins add the washed rice

  9. Fry for about 5 to 7 mins until the rice turns opaque

  10. Add the salt and water and cook until done in a rice cooker

  11. Wait for the steam to be released and rice to be cooled.

  12. 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 🙂

Prawn (Shrimp) Biryani
Malabar Prawn (Shrimp) Biryani

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  • Reply
    March 27, 2018 at 10:26 am

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

    • Reply
      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!

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

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

    • Reply
      March 27, 2018 at 4:37 pm

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

  • Reply
    March 27, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Will try it soon..

    • Reply
      March 27, 2018 at 4:34 pm

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

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

    Looking delicious 😋😋😋.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Wow! Looks scrumptious! 😛

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

    Love Biryani and this looks so delectable 😍 Beautifully presented 👌

    • Reply
      March 27, 2018 at 4:33 pm

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

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

    I am drooling…thanks to you! 😉

    • Reply
      March 27, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      Awww.Thanks for the lovely comment!

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

    Soooo yum! My kind of Biryani! X

    • Reply
      March 28, 2018 at 9:27 am

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

  • Reply
    March 29, 2018 at 12:30 am

    Absolutely love the masala ❤ biryani is always ❤❤

    • Reply
      March 29, 2018 at 10:06 am

      Thanks dear! glad you like it!

  • Reply
    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!

    • Reply
      April 2, 2018 at 11:39 am

      Well said my friend indeed it has wonderful flavors!

  • Reply
    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.

    • Reply
      April 9, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    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.

    • Reply
      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!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    The shrimp biryani looks lip smacking and who can say no to biryani.

    • Reply
      October 7, 2020 at 9:23 pm

      Thank you so much dear Lathiya! Absloutely right , it is difficult to refuse a biryani and that too a prawn/shrimp one 🙂 my favorite.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    5 stars
    Your prawn biryani looks so so good. I love all the spices and seasoning you have used. I’m sure it tastes amazing. On my to make list!

    • Reply
      November 11, 2020 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you so much Jacqueline! You will absolutely love this delicious dish.

  • Reply
    Flossie | SuperMomHacks
    November 11, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    5 stars
    This looks like a delicious dish that could make a great one-pot meal! My daughters and husband all LOVE shrimp, so I bet they would really enjoy this!

    • Reply
      November 12, 2020 at 1:13 am

      Yes absolutely right Flossie! A great one pot meal indeed , wonderful to hear that your family loves shrimp . The same at our place as well we love anything made with shrimp . I’m pretty sure you will love this .Enjoy!

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