Spicy prawn and potato Biryani

In the land that is Sydney, the weather has been miserable for a number of days, and while in the past these days were the perfect opportunity to indulge in slow cooked poultry, braised meats, or gooey fudgy desserts, that indulgence must be put on hold for a mere 18 days as the Apostles fast has begun. Thankfully, seafoods are included in this fast so the entire Egyptian population doesn’t go back to having chips and gravy for lunch!

The best thing about vegetarian cooking with seafood is that all meals are super quick. Now’s the time to break out the cans of tuna, get creative with fresh fish, experiment with frozen prawns…and yeah okay a vegetable dish or two will be yummy too 😉

My go to meal with I’m seeking comfort food that is vegetarian is almost always Indian cuisine. A warm bowl of spicy goodness that warms me to my cockles. Biryani is not only  a popular Indian meal, it is also considered one of the national dishes of Bahrain, a country where I lived for 9 years and have very fond memories in. I used to think of biriyani as the most difficult dish to make because of the spice list as long as your arm…until I discovered biryani mixed spice being sold in powder form, ready for use at the local shops.

It’s not a super quick dish, as there are 3 pots on the go almost at the same time, one with the rice, another with the prawn and onion mixture and the 3rd sautĂ©ing potatoes, but it’s a pretty easy dish and the results are certainly satisfying. Feel free to play with the spice levels in this dish – in my family we like our food spicy enough to make our tastebuds dance but not so spicy that they hide the flavours underneath…reduce or increase the amount of biryani spice you use to achieve your desired rate of spiciness.

From my family to yours….Happy cooking xx

Plated up...prawn and potato biryani

Plated up…prawn and potato biryani


Biryani Spice
2 cups Basmati RIce

Cooking oil
2 Large onions sliced
1tsp minced garlic
1tsp minced ginger
2 potatoes cubed
500 g shelled prawns (frozen is fine)
1 x 400 g can diced tomatoes


  1. Start by making the rice. Heat two tablespoons of cooking oil in a pot, add the rice and 3 cups of water and 1.5 teaspoons of biryani spice and 1.5 teaspoons of salt. Leave to boil, then just as the rice is almost cooked turn off the heat and cover the pot.
Biryani Rice

Biryani Rice


2. Meanwhile cover the bottom of a deep saucepan with oil and sauté the onions until soft, then add the ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant.

3. Separately (at the same time) In a tall stock pot which is where the biryani will ultimately cook heat enough oil to sauté the potatoes until almost cooked.

4. In the pot with the onions add 2 teaspoons biryani spice and when mixed well add the prawns and sauté until it starts changing colour, then add the diced tomatoes and the potatoes from the other pot, and turn off the heat. Check seasoning for salt.

Biryani prawn mixture

Biryani prawn mixture


5. In the tall stockpot layer the rice and prawn mixture alternately, starting and ending with the rice, then return to low heat and cook altogether until the rice and prawns cook.

Mix, garnish with coriander and enjoy!


6 thoughts on “Spicy prawn and potato Biryani

  1. I can’t wait to try this. Biryiani has always been so intimidating for me. Have you ever tried the shaan packets? They sell them in my local Indian grocery store and they are spice packets for just about every Indian dish you can imagine.

    • I have heard of the Shaan packets but can’t say I’ve tried them…i recommend talking to the people in the shop, they can be really helpful and let you know where on the spicy scale these packets lie. Good luck!! Be sure to let me know how you go 🙂 happy cooking x

      • I learned the hard way with the shaan packets. My husband is from Hyderabad and loves his food hot! I attempted to make it a little hotter by adding more chili powder, not realizing how much kick is in the shaan packets themselves!

  2. Made this for dinner last night, but substituted prawns for chicken, and it worked a treat. Loved it, and the best part was the left over Naan and Biryani made an awesome lunch on a cold Sydney day.

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