• Preeth C.Vijay

Hyderabadi Prawn Dum Biryani

Prawns marinated with fried onions and whole spices, cooked on dum along with perfectly flavored basmati rice is one of my all time favorite biryani. A subtle, perfectly cooked,juicy prawns with all the flavors and masala seeped inside this tiny little creature delivers an exquisite biryani.

Its less time consuming, simple and you are almost done with the biryani process once the marination process is done.

All you need is a raita to pair with the prawn biryani and the meal is done.


Prawns 250 gms cleaned

Fried onions 1/4 cup

Green chillies 4 slit

Ginger garlic paste 2 teaspoons

Red chilli powder 2 teaspoons

Coriander powder 1 teaspoon

Garam Masala 1 teaspoon

Biryani Masala 1 teaspoon

Lemon juice 2 teaspoons

Thick Curd 1/2 cup

Melted Ghee 2 tablespoon

Oil from fried onions 2 tablespoons

Mint leaves 1/4 cup chopped

Coriander leaves 1/4 cup chopped

Salt as needed

For Cooking Rice

Rice 2 (500 gms)

Water 10 cups

Green cardamom 2

Cloves 3

Bay leaves 1

Cinnamon 1

Star anise 1

Mace 2 strands

Oil 2 tablespoon

Salt as needed

Topping on the rice

Mint leaves 2 tablespoon chopped

Coriander leaves 2 tablespoon chopped

Fried onions 4 tablespoons

A pinch of Saffron mixed with milk 3 tablespoons and1 teaspoon kewra water (Use Kesar colour mixed with milk, in case you do not have saffron)

Oil 1 tablespoon

Ghee 1 tablespoon melted

Biryani Masala or garam masala - 1 teaspoon

How to start?

Making Fried onions

Thinly slice 4 big onions.Separate the layers. Heat oil in a kadai and fry the onions until it turns golden brown. Do not over fry it. The onions gets cooked even after we take out from the kadai. So make sure you take when the onions get slightly browned and crisp. This fried onions is called Birista.

Set aside the fried onions and keep the oil used for fried onions as we will use it for marination process.

Lets start with the marination process now. Clean the Prawns. Add everything given under marination including melted ghee and oil from fried onions. Massage the prawn well, and Refrigerate for atleast 1/2 hour.

Now lets get started with cooking the rice. Boil 10 cups of water in a large pot. Add salt and add all the whole garam masalas mentioned. You can tie them in white cloth and drop it inside the water and discard it later, so that the biryani gets easy to eat without the fear of biting them mid way. Once the water starts boiling. Add the rice and cook it 75 percent. The rice should be left slightly uncooked. Do not over cook the rice. Drain the rice in a colander, but make sure you collect some water from the rice in a vessel before draining. Set the rice aside.

Lets start with the dum process. Take a flat heavy bottomed pan or biryani handi, spread the marinated prawns in a single layer. Add oil, 2 tablespoons fried onions, 1 tablespoon of mint and coriander leaves.

Now add the cooked rice on top of the marinated prawns. Layer it evenly and spread the rice. Add rest of the fried onions, mint and coriander leaves. Drizzle some ghee and saffron milk on top of the rice. Sprinkle biryani masala or garam masala.

Now cover the biryani pan or handi with a foil and tightly seal it. You can seal the outer layer of the handi with chapathi dough and place a heavy lid on it. So that the steam doesn't escape.

Heat a tawa on high heat. Place the biryani handi over the tawa. Now place the vessel with hot drained water from rice on top of the biryani handi. Simmer it completely and let it stay for 25 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it rest as such for another 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes open the lid and carefully fluff the rice with fork and mix it. Hyderabadi Biryani is ready to serve with raita or Salan

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