Oct 20, 2013

Prawns Biryani / Chemmeen Biryani

Prawns Biryani / Chemmeen Biryani (made of Jeerakasala rice / Zeera Samba rice)

Serves: 3


For the rice:

Please use same measuring cup to measure rice and water. 1 cup rice : 1 ½ cups water (Ratio is 1 : 1 ½)

4 black cardamom

3 cinnamon sticks

3 cloves

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup jeerakasala rice (do not soak it in water)

1 ½ cups  water

1/2 teaspoon ghee


Wash and clean rice.

In a vessel, put all the spices,  salt and ghee in water and boil. Once the water get boil vigorously, add drained rice. Mix well. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 10 minutes or until done / water dries up / rice cooked well.  No need to drain out water. Rice will cook fully. That's the benefit of jeerakasala rice.

For the prawns:

500 g prawns (250 - 300 g net weight after cleaning) 

Wash and clean prawns. Wash well until the water is very clear and without impurities. Drain out water 

Marinate prawns with 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and keep aside for half an hour.

Homemade Garam Masala Powder for biryani

Makes: 3 level tablespoons


8 cardamom pods, remove seeds from cardamom pods

2 bay leaves (cassia leaves)

1 teaspoon peppercorns

1 teaspoon cloves

2 teaspoon cumin seeds

5 cm piece of cinnamon

2 teaspoon coriander  seeds


Heat iron on a medium heat. Reduce  the heat to low and gently dry  roast above spices until fragrant and crisp (approximate time 10 – 12 minutes on a medium to low heat). Keep aside to cool for half an hour.

Transfer dry roasted ingredients into  a small mixer bowl and make a fine powder and then sieve it through a fine sieve. Store it in an airtight container (or in Tupperware dry storage box).

Other ingredients

2 tablespoon oil

2 onions, thinly sliced (separate each layer)

2 tomatoes or 1 big (well ripe), finely chopped

1 tablespoon (15 ml) ginger - garlic paste ( fresh and homemade )

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

25 g (2 tablespoon) chopped coriander leaves

25 g (2 tablespoon) chopped mint leaves

3/4  teaspoon  garam  masala powder

3/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )

Marinated prawns

2 teaspoon coriander and mint leaves


Dilute red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder in 2 tablespoon water and keep aside (spice mix).

In a pan, heat 2 tablespoon oil on a medium heat. Add thinly sliced onions and fry till golden color.

Add ginger – garlic paste and stir well on a low heat for 2 – 3 minutes until the raw smell goes.

Add chopped tomatoes and fry for 2 - 3 minutes on a medium heat until well combined.

Add diluted spice mix and stir well on a low heat for 1 – 2 minutes until the raw smell goes and water dries up.

Add chopped mint – coriander leaves, garam masala powder and salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients well.

 Cover with a lid and cook on a low to medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes until the gravy thickens / bright red in color. Do not add water.

At this stage, add marinated prawns. Mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a lid and cook on a low to medium heat for 5 - 7 minutes or until done / prawns softens / gravy thickens/ oil leaves from the sides of the pan. Prawns will cook faster than chicken and mutton. So do not overcook prawns (maximum 7 minutes)

Final preparation:

In another wide pan, heat 2 teaspoon ghee. Add thick prawns gravy and cooked rice.

Stir well for 2 minutes or until  prawns gravy well mixed with cooked rice (each rice grain well coated with prawns gravy). Cover with a tight lid and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Open the lid and sprinkle chopped coriander leaves. Serve with raita, salad and pickle.

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