Shrimp Biryani


Especially while cooking Indian, I cannot get myself to cook shrimp without coconut in some form or the other.  Shrimp and coconut for me, is one of the perfect pairings in food . A little bit of of coconut goes a long way. So, though my Shrimp Biryani recipe calls for a full cup of coconut milk, the calorie conscious could do with half coconut and half 2% milk. The difference would be insignificant. This recipe is mind blowing simple  and very often the top sell at most spreads.

shrimp biryani

Shrimps are  tender and delicate and hence do not require long hours and complex procedures for marinating.

1 lb medium sized, deveined and shelled shrimp
1 large  or 2 medium sized onions finely sliced
4 large tomatoes, diced in chunks
5- 6 green chilies, slit length wise
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp diced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper corns
1/2 tsp kerala garam masala
3 cups basmati rice
pinch of saffron
refined vegetable oil
2 tsp sesame oil or ghee (clarified butter)
2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp red chili powder, alter this based on tolerable spice level
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste


  • Marinate the shrimp in lemon juice and salt and set aside
  • Soak washed basmati rice with 5 cups of water and set aside for an hour.
  • Sauté 3/4th of the chopped onions in 2 – 3 tbsp of oil  in a wide bottomed  hollow pan  until golden brown; make sure the pan can be fitted with a tight lid that doesn’t let steam escape.
  • Crush the grated ginger and garlic and add them to the pan along with the green chilies and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the diced tomatoes, turmeric powder, garam masala, pepper corns, chopped mint and cilantro and continue to sauté until oil separates.
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add in the shrimp and sauté for 2- 3 minutes and then reduce the flame to low.
  • Add one cup of coconut milk, salt and 2 tbsp of sesame oil or ghee to the rice soaking in water and then set to cook until the water boils and the rice is only  3/4 done.
  • Gather all the shrimp and the masala mixture together and flatten it at he bottom of the pan
  • Dissolve a pinch of saffron in 2 tbsp of milk and add to the boiling rice and mix it.
  • Pour in the boiling rice into the pan making the rice form a layer on top of the masala and has no direct contact to the bottom of the pan.
  • Close the pan tight shut and let it sit on the very low flame for 15 – 20 min or until the rice at the top is done.
  • Remove from the stove and mix in the rice and masala
  • Deep fry the remaining sliced onion and sprinkle on the rice as garnish.
  • Serve with raitha or baingan masaledar.
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    4 Responses to “Shrimp Biryani”

    1. Patrick says:

      How many servings does this make?

    2. Dahlia says:

      Julie, i served this as the main dish – was yummmmmmmmmmm – but u know what – the rice was overcooked – dont worry – all my fault – i jus overlooked as i was doing something else – getting old i suppose – getting clumsier at multitasking :).

      • julie says:

        If you are doing too many things in the kitchen and can’t pay attention, you would be safe if you put the layerd masala and rice in the oven instead of the stove. Just a suggestion. Hope you have better luck next time!


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