Biriyani is no longer a subcontinent secret. Everyone knows what it is and had tried it at some point. It is rumoured to have been brought down from Persia and is derived from the word ‘biriyan’ or to fry. The Mughals were the first to make their version and it spread like wildfire all over the Indian subcontinent and it’s surrounding neighbours. Because the Mughal cuisine is famous for it’s non vegetarian specialities, we can only presume that the first Biriyani was made with meat or chicken. These days you can get pretty much any kind of Biriyani you can think of.

Today we are making a Shrimp Biriyani. I love to make this for a few reasons, for one it cooks much faster and two it’s a nice lighter take on it’s heavier counterparts. Just like other Biriyanis, I like to use my homemade Biriyani masala and Basmati rice.

You can find some of the other Biriyani recipes from my channel here

Mutton Biriyani

Boneless Chicken Biriyani

Butter Chicken Biriyani

Bangalore Biriyani

Shrimp or Prawn Biriyani

3.17 from 61 votes


  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 4 cups of Water to cook the rice
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 inch stick cinnamon
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 Star anise
  • 5 Cardamoms
  • 2 Black Cardamoms
  • 5 Cloves
  • 2 cups sliced Onions
  • 1/4 cup Cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp sliced green Chillies
  • 500 gms Shrimp or Prawn
  • 2 tbsps Biriyani Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Ginger &Garlic paste
  • 2 cups Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of Water
  • Pinch of Saffron strands
  • 1/4 cup hot Milk
  • Pinch powder food colouring optional
  • Fresh Coriander and Mint leaves


  • Soak the rice for at least 30 mins and then rinse a few times to remove excess starch
  • Add the water to the rice with the salt and bring to the boil
  • Add the whole spices cover and cook till its 3/4 done
  • Drain any excess water
  • Steep a pinch of saffron strands in some hot milk
  • In another pot heat some oil and add the onions
  • Sauté till it’s caramelized and then remove half
  • Add the cashew nuts to the other half and keep cooking
  • Remove the fried onions and cashew nuts and reserve for garnish
  • Add the first half of the onions back into the pot with the green chillies
  • Add the shrimp, biriyani masala & the turmeric
  • Add the ginger and garlic paste and the tomatoes, mix, cover and cook for about 10 – 15 mins
  • Time cooking the rice and the gravy at about the same time so the rice is still hot
  • Layer the rice on top of the shrimp
  • Add the saffron milk
  • Add the fried onions, cashews and a little food colouring
  • Cover with foil to seal and cook in a 350 degree oven for another 15 – 20 mins
  • Fluff with a fork and serve with some coriander and mint leaves