Basmati Rice Biryani Indian Main Dish Shrimp

Shrimp Biryani- Made with Almond/Poppy Seed/Coconut Masala

shrimp biryani

Delectable Shrimp Biryani that is going to be loved by everyone…

Holidays have made me lazy, getting back to work tomorrow, hopefully I will not hit the snooze button on my alarm a gazillion times. Gearing up to rise early and shine!

The last time I had made biryani with shrimp was a few years ago. So, last week I decided to make shrimp biryani. This is quite different from the biryani I’ve already posted. In this one, I made a paste with almonds, cashew nuts, poppy seeds and coconut and added to the shrimp masala that made this biryani taste much richer and tastier. A delicious shrimp biryani just for you and your family.

For a different kind of shrimp biryani recipe, click here

Dates Pickle, recipe click here

tasty shrimp biryani

Preparation Pictures

frying shrimp


making shrimp masala

making shrimp-masala

layering with rice

layered with fried onions


Shrimp Biryani- Made with Almond/Poppy Seed/Coconut Masala
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 5 People
To marinate shrimp
  • Shrimp, deveined and shelled- 35
  • Ginger-Garlic paste- ½ tbsp
  • Chill Powder- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Garam masala ½ tsp
  • Oil- ¼ cup to shallow fry shrimp
To make paste
  • Chopped Almonds, blanched and skinned- ¼ cup
  • Cashew nuts- 2 tbsp
  • Poppy seeds or Khus Khus (soaked in ½ cup water for 15 minutes)- 2 tbsp
  • Grated coconut- ¼ cup
To cook Rice
  • Cumin seeds- ½ tsp
  • Bay leaves- 2
  • Whole cardamom- 2
  • Whole cinnamon- 2 inch slice
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Ghee- 1 tbsp
  • Basmati rice- 2½ cups
  • Water- 4½ cups
  • Salt- to taste
To make shrimp masala
  • Oil- ¼ cup
  • Bay leaves- 2
  • Whole cardamom- 2
  • Whole cloves- 2
  • Whole cinnamon- 2 inch slice
  • Onions, sliced thin- 3
  • Ginger, minced- 1 inch slice
  • Garlic, minced- 3 cloves
  • Green chili- 3
  • Garam masala- ¾ tsp
  • Tomatoes, chopped- 3
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Chili powder- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ⅛ tsp
  • Fennel powder- 1½ tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1½ tsp
  • Yogurt, beaten- ¼ cup
  • Salt- to taste
While layering the biryani
  • Onions fried in oil- 1
  • Cashew nuts roasted in ghee- 10
  • Raisins roasted in ghee- 2 tbsp
  • Saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp water- 2 picnches
  • Cilantro, chopped- ¼ cup
  • Fresh mint leaves, chopped- 7 leaves
  • Ghee- 1½ tbsp
  1. In a bowl, combine shrimp with all the ingredients except oil mentioned above to "to marinate shrimp" and let marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. In a frying pan, shallow fry the shrimp in oil till they turn golden in color. Transfer to a kitchen paper towel and keep aside.
  3. Soak poppy seeds in ½ cup water for 15 minutes.
  4. In a blender, grind almonds, cashew nuts, soaked poppy seeds along with water, grated coconut to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
Making rice
  1. You could cook the rice in a rice cooker or in a saucepan over stove top.
  2. Soak the basmati rice in water for 15 minutes and drain the water.
  3. Add all the ingredients mentioned "to cook rice" into a rice cooker bowl or into a saucepan and cook till the rice has turned fluffy and cooked well.
Making the shrimp masala
  1. In a blender, grind the ginger, garlic and green chilies together to a coarse paste.
  2. Place a large non-stick wide pan over medium heat, add 14 cup oil ( you could use the leftover oil after frying shrimp).
  3. Add bay leaves, whole cardamom, whole cloves and cinnamon, saute for a few seconds.
  4. Add sliced onions and curry leaves, season with salt and cook till onions turn translucent.
  5. Add the ground ginger/garlic/green chilies and garam masala. Combine well and cook till onions turn golden in color.
  6. Add tomatoes, combine well and let tomatoes cook well.
  7. Add the ground almond/cashew nut/poppy seed/coconut paste, combine well and cook covered for 10 minutes.
  8. Add chili powder, turmeric powder, fennel powder, coriander powder and salt. Combine well and cook for a few minutes.
  9. Add beaten yogurt, combine well.
  10. Add the shallow fried shrimp, combine well and cook for 5 minutes till the gravy has thickened.
  11. Remove the pan from the heat and keep covered.
Layering the biryani
  1. Soak 2 pinches of saffron in 2 tbsp water for 5 minutes.
  2. Slice 1 onion and fry in oil till onions turn golden brown.
  3. Roast the cashew nuts in oil or ghee.
  4. Fry the raisins in oil or ghee till they plump up.
  5. Transfer the shrimp masala into a bowl. Use the same pan used for cooking shrimp masala to layer the biryani.
  6. Spread ½ tbsp ghee on the bottom of the pan.
  7. Spread half of the shrimp masala as the first layer.
  8. Spread half of the cooked basmati rice over the shrimp masala.
  9. Top with half of the fried onions, cashew nuts, raisins, chopped cilantro, mint leaves and sprinkle half of the soaked saffron over the layer.
  10. Layer with the remaining shrimp masala followed by rice. Top with fried onions, cashew nuts, raisins, chopped cilantro, mint leaves and sprinkle remaining soaked saffron over the rice.
  11. Drizzle 1 tbsp ghee on the top.
  12. Cover the pan tightly with an aluminum foil and then close with its lid.
  13. Place the pan over low heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Or place the pan in the oven preheated at the lowest temperature and let sit in the oven for 10 minutes.
  14. After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, keep covered for 10 more minutes.
  15. While serving, open the lid and combine the rice and the shrimp masala and serve in plates along with raita, pickle, papadum, dates pickle etc.




Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...