Kerala style Prawns Biryani, Malabar Chemmeen Biryani

Filed under Non-Vegetarian, Prawns, Rice
3.4, 11 reviews

Advance Vishu and Easter wishes...

Recipe Details  
3.4, 11 reviews

Posted by
Posted on 1, Feb 2016
Serving 5-6 people
Ready in 140-150 minutes
Post Views 4.8 K views
Post Rating 3.36 out of 5 , from 11 reviews
Click here to view the recipe in Malayalam - Opens new tab.

For Marination:

  • Prawns, peeled and deviened - 500 Gms, big sized prawns preferred
  • Kashmiri Chilly powder - 2 Teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder - ½ Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala - ½ Teaspoon
  • Lemon Juice - 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt as required(approx: 1 Teaspoon)

For Prawns Masala:

  • Onion, large sized - 2 Nos, finely chopped
  • Tomato, medium sized - 2 Nos, finely chopped
  • Garlic - 10-12 cloves, finely chopped
  • Ginger - 3 inch piece, finely chopped
  • Green Chillies - 5 Nos, finely chopped
  • Pepper powder - 1 Teaspoon
  • Garam masala - 1 Teaspoon
  • Lime juice - 1 Tablespoon
  • Chopped coriander leaves - ¼ cup
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying prawns

For Rice:

  • Basmati/kaima/jeerasala rice - 3 cups
  • Bay leaf - 1 Nos
  • Cardamom - 6 Nos
  • Black Cardamom - 2-3 Nos
  • Cloves - 6 Nos
  • Cinnamon sticks, 1 inch pieces - 2 Nos
  • Cumin seeds - 1 Teaspoon
  • Lemon juice - 1 Tablespoon
  • Ghee - 2 - 2 ½ Tablespoon
  • Water as required
  • Salt as required

For Layering:

  • Fried Onion - 1 ½ cup
  • Garam masala - ¼ Teaspoon + ¼ Teaspoon
  • Chopped coriander leaves - ½ cup
  • Chopped Mint Leaves - ¼ cup
  • Ghee - 2-3 Tablespoon
  • Orange food color - few drops, optional
  • Essence of your choice or rose water - few drops

For Dough:

  • All-purpose flour : 2 cup + Water as required ( Mix together and make a smooth dough; make it as chappathi dough like consistency.)

Prawn masala preparation:

  1. Wash the prawns, and drain the water completely.
  2. Marinate the prawns with the items listed under 'For marination' and set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan, shallow fry the prawns. Don't forget to flip to both sides occasionally. Transfer to a paper towel.
  4. In the same oil, add in the chopped onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and saute until the onions become soft for about 15 minutes.
  5. Add in the chopped tomatoes, pepper powder and saute until the tomatoes becomes mushy and the gravy become thick.
  6. Now add in the shallow fried prawns and mix well. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes on low flame.
  7. Add in the chopped coriander leaves, curry leaves, garam masala and lime juice. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from the fire and set aside.

Rice Preparation & Layering :

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain the water completely; Set aside.
  2. In a cooking pot, pour enough water to cook the rice.
  3. Add in all whole spices mentioned under 'For rice', cumin seeds, ghee, lemon juice, salt and bring to boil on medium-high heat. When it starts boiling, add the soaked rice and continue cooking. Check for salt.
  4. In a biriyani pot/oven proof dish, spread half of the prepared prawns masala, and spread it evenly.
  5. When the rice is ¾ done(refer notes), layer half of the rice over the prawns masala layer.
  6. Then layer the left over prawns masala. Spread half of the toppings (fried onion, ¼ teaspoon garam masala, chopped coriander and mint leaves).
  7. Then layer the rest of the rice on top of it. Spread the left over toppings.
  8. Finally, pour 2-3 tablespoon of melted ghee, food color, and essence/rose water on top.

Dum Preparation :

Cooking in Oven :

  1. Close the oven-safe dish with a tight fitting oven-safe lid - OR - Cover it with an aluminium foil. Seal the edges by crimping the foil.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Place the sealed oven proof dish in the oven and bake it for 20 mins.
  3. When it is done, remove and keep the dish covered until serving.

Cooking over Stove top :

  1. Close the biriyani pot with a tight lid - OR - seal the edges of the lid with the prepared dough without even the slightest opening.
  2. Place the sealed biriyani pot in the stove. Cook for about 20-25 minutes on very low heat.
  3. After 20-25 minutes, switch off the flame and set aside the biriyani pot unopened for 10 minutes.
  4. Then open the dum, just mix the rice and prawn masala from the bottom of the pan using a long spoon.
  5. Enjoy the biriyani, serve hot with Raita, Pickle and Pappadam on the side!


  • The right consistency of the rice matters for a good biriyani. So don't overcook the rice.
  • How to check the right consistency of the rice?
    • Just take out a grain of rice from the boiling water, and press it in between your thumb and forefinger. If the grain breaks into 3 parts, that's the right consistency.
  • How to make Fried Onion? ( makes about 1 ½ cup of fried onion(approx:) )
    • Take 2 ½ - 3 cups of thinly sliced onions. Divide the sliced onions into 2 batches.
    • In a large frying pan, heat required amount of oil for deep frying.
    • Fry each batch with a pinch of salt till the onions are golden brown and crisp.
    • Transfer to a paper towel to remove excess oil.
3.4, 11 reviews

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