Prawns/Shrimp/Chemmeen Biryani | How to make Prawns/Shrimp/Chemmeen Biryani

By Shiba Nair  |  19th May 2016  |  
5 from 1 review Rate It!
  • Prawns/Shrimp/Chemmeen Biryani, How to make Prawns/Shrimp/Chemmeen Biryani
Prawns/Shrimp/Chemmeen Biryaniby Shiba Nair
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About Prawns/Shrimp/Chemmeen Biryani Recipe

This is the authentic biryani that is cooked in the Muslim households of Kerala. The prawns cooked in a variety of spices, added to the half cooked rice & then put on dum & garnished with cashews & raisins fried in ghee makes this biryani super delicious & tasty.

Prawns/Shrimp/Chemmeen Biryani

Ingredients to make Prawns/Shrimp/Chemmeen Biryani

  • Ingredients For Marinating & Frying The Prawns/Shrimp
  • Shrimp/prawns 1/2 kg
  • turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
  • red chilli powder 1 tsp
  • coriander powder 1 tsp
  • Juice of lemon 1/2 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • oil for shallow frying the prawns/shrimp
  • White pepper powder 1/2 tsp
  • Ingredients For The Caramelised onions:
  • onions 3
  • oil 2 cups
  • sugar 2 pinches
  • Ingredients For Making The rice
  • rice 2 cups
  • cardamom 3
  • cloves 4
  • bay leaves 2
  • cinnamon 1 inch stick 2
  • ginger paste 1 tbsp
  • garlic paste 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Green chilli paste 1 tbsp
  • mint leaves 1/2 cup
  • coriander leaves 1/2 cup
  • salt to taste
  • water 3 Cups
  • ghee 3 Tbsps
  • Ingredients For The Shrimp/prawns masala:
  • ginger crushed 2 tbsp
  • garlic crushed 3 tbsp
  • Green chilli crushed 6
  • onions 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced
  • tomatoes 1 1/4 cup chopped
  • turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • red chilli powder 1 tsp
  • coriander powder 2 1/2 tsp
  • Biryani masala 2 tsp
  • mint leaves 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup
  • coriander leaves 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • oil 5 tsp
  • Ingredients For The Biryani masala:
  • fennel seeds 1 tsp
  • cumin seeds 1 tsp
  • Shah jeera 1 tsp
  • mace 6
  • nutmeg 1/2 tsp
  • star anise 1
  • cloves 8
  • cinnamon 2 (1 inch sticks)
  • cardamom 4
  • bay leaves 1
  • Ingredients For The Aromatic ghee:
  • ghee 4 tbsp
  • Biryani masala 1/4 tsp
  • Other Ingredients For The Garnish:
  • coriander leaves a handful
  • mint leaves a handful
  • saffron infused milk
  • cashews & raisins

How to make Prawns/Shrimp/Chemmeen Biryani

  1. Marinating & Frying The Shrimp
  2. Remove the shell & wash the shrimp nicely under cold running water.
  3. Marinate the shrimps with the ingredients mentioned under 'Marinating and Frying the Shrimp' and leave it aside for an hour. Do not pat dry the prawns after washing them because you want the marinade to stick on them.
  4. After an hour, grease a non stick skillet with some oil & fry these shrimps (a few at a time) with two tsp of oil.
  5. Do not deep fry the shrimps.
  6. Fry on both sides till the shrimps get cooked. The shrimps cook very fast so it shouldn't take a lot of time to fry these. Cook the shrimps to 95% (it means the shrimps need to be cooked, at the same time they shouldn't go too soft & tender)
  7. For The Caramelised Onions:
  8. In a pan add oil. When the oil becomes hot, add the thinly sliced onions & fry them on a medium low flame till they become light brown in color.
  9. Drain the onions on paper towels.
  10. You can add two pinches of sugar on the onions while they are being fried.
  11. Do not overcrowd the pan, so divide the onions into batches & fry them.
  12. You can remove the onions from the oil when they turn light brown as they tend to darken a while after they are cooked.
  13. Preparation Of Rice:
  14. Wash the rice in cold running water & keep it aside.
  15. In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee, then add the whole garam masala.
  16. When you get a nice smell from the masala, add the onions.
  17. When the onions turn translucent, add ginger garlic, green chilli paste & sauté for 2 minutes or till the raw smell is gone.
  18. Then add the mint & coriander leaves & sauté till the leaves shrink in size.
  19. Now add the rice & fry it for a minute till the rice becomes dry & the grains separate from each other.
  20. Add water & salt & cook the rice till it is 90% done.
  21. Preparation Of The Masala:
  22. In a skillet, add some oil that was left after frying the onions or if there's oil left after frying the shrimps, you may add that too.
  23. When the oil gets hot, add the thinly sliced onions & sauté till they turn translucent.
  24. Now add the ginger garlic, green chilli paste & sauté till it turns brown & then add 1/4 cup mint & coriander leaves & mix well.
  25. Add the chopped tomatoes & cook till it becomes soft & mushy.
  26. Add the chilli powder, coriander powder, biryani masala & salt & sauté well to combine everything together & till the raw smell is gone. Add about 4 tbsp of water to the mixture. You can add more water if you think its needed.
  27. Now add the fried shrimp & mix well. Also add the remaining mint & coriander leaves, lemon juice & mix well & cook uncovered on low flame for a minute & turn off the gas.
  28. For The Biryani Masala:
  29. Dry roast all the ingredients & grind to a fine powder.
  30. For The Aromatic Masala:
  31. Take some ghee in a bowl & add the biryani masala to it & mix well & keep it aside for the final garnish.
  32. For The Garnish:
  33. Add saffron strands in milk in a bowl & let it rest on ur countertop for a while before you sprinkle it on the biryani.
  34. Finely chop mint & coriander leaves & keep it aside.
  35. In 2 tbsp of ghee, fry the cashews till they turn golden brown in colour & then fry the raisins till they puff up.
  36. Layering & Final Cooking:
  37. Take a heavy bottomed pan & grease it with 2 tbsp of ghee.
  38. Spread half of the shrimp masala, then spread half of the cooked rice.
  39. Sprinkle the aromatic ghee, followed by the fried cashews & raisins, mint & coriander leaves, brown onions & saffron infused milk.
  40. Repeat this process again till all the masala & the rice is transferred to the pan for layering & cooking.
  41. Cover with a tight lid & cook the biryani on low flame for 10-12 minutes.
  42. Do not cook for more than 10-12 minutes because you just need the prawns to become tender & the rice to cook 5% more. If you cook longer then you rice will become mushy.
  43. Turn off the flame but do not open the lid for the next 20 minutes.
  44. After 20 minutes, open it & serve the biryani hot with the raita of your choice, pappad & lemon pickle.

My Tip:

The shrimp mixture should not be too dry or liquidy, There should be some moisture content in it. It should be thick. I have not added ginger garlic paste to the marinade. You may add it if you wish to. If you do not have a right fitting lid then you may cover it with a flat lid & then place a heavy bottomed pan with water in it on top of the lid. The final layering & cooking should be done in a heavy bottomed pan otherwise there is a very high chance that your biryani will get burnt at the bottom. You may also keep an iron skillet/dosa tawa on the gas on high flame, when the skillet becomes hot, reduce the flame to low & keep the biryani pot on it & cook for 10 minutes. Adjust the quantity of spices as per your spice level tolerance. You can add 1/4 cup of yogurt to the prawn masala (after you add the prawns) if you wish to. I have never done it that way but you may try it if you want to.

Reviews for Prawns/Shrimp/Chemmeen Biryani (1)

Sukhmani Bedi2 years ago

My mouth is literally watering looking at this dish. thanks for sharing :smiley:

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