Niall McKenna's Prawn Biryani

Prawn Biryani


(Serves 4)

  • 400g prawns, shelled and cleaned
  • 250g basmati rice
For the marinade
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1 ½tsp garam masala
  • 1 ½tsp salt
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
  • 20 curry leaves, chopped
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 50g ghee
  • Vegetable oil for cooking
  • 1tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1tbsp shrimp paste
  • 4 small green chilli, halved
  • 2 sprigs mint, removed from stalk and chopped
  • 2 sprigs coriander, removed from stalk and chopped
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • 1tsp salt
  • 500ml fish stock


  • Start by mixing all the marinade ingredients together. Remove the prawns from their shells, clean, and place in the marinade. Ensure that they are all coated and cover with cling film, placing in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • In a heavy bottomed pot, cook the onions in vegetable oil and leave to the side. Add in the ghee and cook on a high heat.
  • Next, add in the spices and once sizzling, add in the onions, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Next, add in the paste and green chilli and sauté for one minute. Add in the mint, coriander, turmeric, salt, rice, and fish stock and bring to the boil.
  • When the water has all but disappeared, add in the prawns, mix well and cover with a lid, leaving it to cook for five minutes.
  • Next, take off the heat, stir through, and place the lid back on for five minutes. Now, it is ready to serve.

Note: When cooking with rice, always wash it first to get rid of the starch and to avoid any clumping whilst serving.


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