Prawn Biryani in a Hurry i.e. Prawn Pulao

October 21, 2006


prawn-pilau.jpgAfter another long week at work, Hubby and I decided to kick the shoes off and chill out on the couch last night. I decided to put Divya’s Prawn Biryani in a hurry recipe to the test. The words “in a hurry” really pressed my buttons, touched a nerve etc etc.

Biryani is one of the most delicious and time consuming dishes prepared in the Indian subcontinent. It originated in Persia and Arabia and was popularised by the Mughal rulers in Lucknow years and years ago. It has developed into a rice dish that is consumed on special occasions such as Muslim festivals and even Hindu weddings.

The big difference between biryani and pulao, the other popular Indian rice dish, is the length of time for cooking. Biryani often takes hours of slow cooking, with the pot lid sealed tight with a flour dough. Pulao on the other hand is like the quick and easy version. Just as delicious, but not so special.

Divya’s recipe was a complete hit with couch potato hubby and myself. It’s so easy, and requires no special ingredients. Actually, it did need star anise, which I didn’t have. But I’m not one to cry over star anise so I just didn’t use it. And it was great without. What I did was add a bit of saffron at the end, and it gave the pulao a glorious aroma.

This recipe serves 2:

200 gms raw peeled king prawns (I used frozen ones)
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 green finger chilli, slit lengthwise
1 stick cinnamon
4-5 cloves
1 tsp minced ginger and garlic
Quarter tsp chilli powder
Quarter tsp garam masala powder
1.5 cups rice
3 cups water
2 tsp ghee
Sprinkling of saffron soaked in 1 tsp warm milk

Heat the ghee and fry the onions, ginger, garlic, cloves and cinnamon. When the onions start turning translucent and soft, add the tomatoes and chilli powder.

Fry this paste until the raw smell of the masalas go. Then add the rice and fry for 2 minutes. Add the water, lower the flame to medium, cover the pan and cook.

When the rice looks half done, add the raw prawns, green chilli and the garam masala. Give the rice a good stir. Recover and cook until the prawns are done and the rice is dry. Before you take the rice off the flame, mix in the milky saffron.

Two things you need to remember: Don’t stir the rice too much or it will not have the fluffy, separate texture that characterises pulao and make sure the prawns are cooked but not overdone.

Seriously moreish dish and great with a dollop of natural yoghurt and pickle.


16 Responses to “Prawn Biryani in a Hurry i.e. Prawn Pulao”

  1. jaanu Says:

    July 29th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    very easy recipe to follow, I added salt and lemon juice to the ingredients.
    made loads of salad and it was a lovely summer dinner

  2. Denise Says:

    April 12th, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Hello! I was searching for a biryani recipe, but most of them discouraged me… then I typed “easy” in the searchbox and found this one!
    We’ve just finished eating and it was delicious. I cooked it in a large pan, and when my boyfrend saw it he said “You made paella!”. No, no, surprise, this is Indian! He was delighted and the pan was thoroughly cleaned until the last rice grain.
    The only thing I must say is that the recipe doesn’t mention salt, which I added both in the onion stirfry and the water. I assume it is needed. Also, I substituted saffron with turmeric.
    I’ll check other recipes from this site!

  3. Deepika Says:

    November 1st, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Mallika, tried ur recipe, it turned out very good. I put some lemon juice to prawns in addition to garm masala and green chillies. Thanks for the recipe quick and easy all loved it.

  4. olympus recorder Says:

    December 17th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Enjoy ones site as its directly to the point but not technical. I’m keen on gadgets as well as anything tech connected thats the reason why i posted right here. are you carrying out some sort of up-date soon because I am engaged in your niche. I am going to return before long and even sign up to your blog. cheers.

  5. Charmagne Says:

    May 4th, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Really good reciepe and easy to make. It was a big hit with my family 🙂

  6. Sadia Aamir Says:

    December 19th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Mallika, i tried your recipe of quick prawn biryani and it was wonderful and everyone enjoyed it…
    Very scrumptious and easy to cook.
    Thanks for sharing and I’ll be trying your other recipes too.
    Keep up the good work !!!

  7. Anne Says:

    June 17th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Delicious recipe and make it so easy. Thanks for sharing. I will try to make it on next Saturday.

  8. Farida Says:

    April 17th, 2010 at 6:00 am

    tried your recipe and it worked well. i doubled the quantity of garlic and also added i veg stock cube. it tasted great

  9. tim elkington Says:

    March 18th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Have to add – Wife had to have some – 5 Star She said – & kept saying!!

    Very fresh.

    I did have Star Anise.

  10. tim elkington Says:

    March 18th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Saved my bacon – Wife didn’t want supper so got this through for myself in 25 mins.


    = Tim

  11. Quick Indian Cooking » Playing the ace card Says:

    February 20th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    […] this Lamb Pulao. The biggest difference between a pulao and biryani is complexity. So I cooked the dish quickly like a pulao but with a number of […]

  12. Karim Says:

    January 3rd, 2009 at 4:56 am

    I think you forgot Salt, we have just finished cooking and havent tried yet …

  13. The food list « 202 tasks in 1001 days Says:

    May 10th, 2008 at 5:33 am

    […] 104. Cook & perfect 5 good main Indian courses (one of them chicken tikka masala, the other a biryani) 105. Make sacher torte 106. Make Irish soda bread 107. Learn how to make a good lemon meringue pie […]

  14. divya and chaya Says:

    March 22nd, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Hey Mallika- we are so happy to finally find you and that too very near us(yes, you were in our blogroll, and we kept searching for you all over the web). Saw your cool, hip(and may we say, sexy)video. You look great. Plz keep in touch!!!

  15. Quick Indian Cooking » Home and away Says:

    March 12th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    […] trophies for winning egg and spoon races and coming last in a beauty contest. Then she road tested Biryani chefs oblivious to the global Basmati rice […]

  16. Amazing Andhra Food at Quick Indian Cooking Says:

    October 30th, 2006 at 11:29 am

    […] The state has a rich variety of cuisines, which changes widely from region to region. The Vijayawada/Guntur region is known for extremely spicy dishes. The capital city, Hyderabad is known for its Biriyani and one would do very well to savour it. Because of the rule of the Nawabs there is also a strong Muslim influence on the cuisine in the form of rich, spicy local dishes, especially in the area around the capital. […]

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