27 September 2012

Malabar Chemeen Biriyani / Malabar Prawns Biriyani

It's been a while since I cooked prawns. Just avoid it for health reasons. But it is still one of my favorites. Whenever I used to make rice with prawns my usual hassle free recipe is the Prawn Pulao but this time I wanted to try something different. Just love these one pot meals. 


Short Grain Rice / Neychottari - 2 1/2 cups
Cloves/ Grambu - 5
Cinnamon/ Patta - 2" two pieces
Cardamom/ Elakka - 1
Mace/ Jatipathri - 2
Fennel Seeds/ Perumjeerakam  - 1 tbsp
Star Anise/ Thakkolam- 1
Nutmeg /Jathikka - 1/4 piece
Water - 5 1/4 cup (for rice) + 1/4 cup (for masala)
Clarified Butter/Ghee - 2 tbsp

For Marination:
Prawns - 550g (cleaned)
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp or as required

For Masala
Onions - 5 medium size thinly sliced
Ginger - 2" long piece
Garlic - 10 cloves
Chilly - 1 (increase as per tolerance level)
Tomato - 3 finely chopped

Coriander Powder - 2 tbsp
Biriyani Masala - 2 tsp
Coriander Leaves - 1/2 cup
Mint Leaves - 3 tbsp
Oil - 2tbsp + for frying onions + for shallow frying prawns
Salt - as required

For Seasoning
Fried Onion - 2 thinly sliced


Preparation of Ghee Rice:
Wash and strain the rice.
Measure 5 1/4 cup water and boil it along with the spices - Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Mace, Cumin Seeds, Star Anise and Nutmeg.
Add salt and bring to a boil.
In the meantime in a kadai/ non stick vessel heat the ghee and fry the rice for 5 minutes. Keep stirring.
Strain and pour in the boiling water into the rice. Stir once slowly. Check salt and close tightly. Lower flame. The rice will be done in 10-15 minutes.

Preparation of masala:
In a small kadai fry the onions and transfer it to a plate lined with kitchen tissue.
Shallow fry half of the prawns for 2-3 minutes. Transfer it to a plate lined with kitchen tissue.
Make a paste of the ginger, garlic and chilly.
Heat oil in a kadai/ wok. Saute the ginger garlic chilly paste.
Saute the onions. Tip in the masalas and saute for 1 minute on medium flame.
Make a paste of half the masala.
Pulse the mixer with 1/4 cup water to remove all the masala in it. Add back the paste along with the water and chopped tomatoes into the kadai and saute till tomatoes are soft.
Add the prawns that has not been fried along with the mint and coriander leaves. Mix well and cook for approx 3 minutes till prawns is cooked.
Now add the fried prawns.

Layering the rice and masala:
Fluff up the rice using a fork.
Layer first with half of the masala then the rice into the kadai. Sprinkle the fried onions.
Transfer the rest of the masala, the rice and remaining fried onions. Close the kadai with a lid and cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
Serve hot with cucumber raitha, pappad, mint chutney and pickle.

I prefer to make  a paste of half the masala as I don't like to see too many onions in my biriyani. This is optional.
Only half of the prawns are shallow fried. The uncooked prawns when cooked with the masala gives the distinct flavour to the masala and the rice.


  1. Adipoli chemeen biryani...Love this...I too love prawns a lot...Loved the first click...Tempting..

  2. So loved the masala in this mouthwatering biryani!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  3. wow yummy briyani,luks delicious n tempting...

  4. Wow wat a flavourful,super delicious and droolworthy briyani.

  5. Wow! Superb! Just loved this...Bookmarked your pressure cooker zebra cake too.

    Sharing an award with you. Congrats. Grab it here.

    Home Made recipes

  6. Kothiyavunnu,perfect and tempting biryani

  7. So inviting biryani !! looks YUM !!

  8. my first time here and I have to say simply awesome !!


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