Prawn and spinach biryani

    30 min

    A fragrantly spiced pilaf-style dish that doesn't take much more effort than ringing for a take-away yet is much healthier as it is low in fat. Serve with a refreshing raita to complete the meal.

    151 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 400g can chopped tomatoes
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
    • 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
    • 15g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 tbsp ground cumin
    • 1 tbsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp ground turmeric
    • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
    • 225g basmati rice, rinsed
    • pinch of sugar
    • 300g baby leaf spinach, washed and roughly torn
    • 225g peeled, raw tiger prawns, thawed if frozen

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Drain the tomatoes in a sieve over a heatproof measuring jug, then set aside. Bring a kettle of water to the boil.
    2. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion, chilli and ginger and stir for 3 minutes. Stir in the cumin, coriander, turmeric and nutmeg and continue stirring until the onion is softened.
    3. Add the rice and drained tomatoes to the casserole and stir to mix with the spices. Add enough boiling water to the reserved tomato juice to make up to 450ml. Stir this liquid into the rice with the sugar and add a pinch of salt, then bring to the boil.
    4. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and leave the rice to cook without lifting the lid for 10–12 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed, the rice grains are tender and tiny holes appear on the surface.
    5. Stir in the spinach, as much as you can at a time, adding more as each addition wilts. When all the spinach has been added, lay the prawns on top, re-cover the casserole and turn down the heat to very low. Cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to stand for 1 minute, without lifting the lid, by which time the spinach will have wilted further and the prawns will have cooked through. Gently fork together to combine the rice, spinach and prawns. Serve immediately.


    Replace some or all of the spinach with thinly sliced mushrooms, adding them to the casserole with the rice. * Sliced red or green peppers would also work well in this dish. Add them with the onions. * Serve any leftovers cold the next day as a rice salad.

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    Reviews in English (24)


    Used different ingredients. i followed the recipe to the letter, except for three things: i added some mustard seeds (1/2 tbsp) along with the other spices, i used about 3/4 tbsp dried crushed chillies instead of the fresh chilli, and i used cod cut into pieces instead of prawns, just b/c that's what i had on hand.  -  11 May 2009


    Great recipe! Made 4 generous and very tasty servings. Just make sure you start off in a big enough pot!  -  20 Apr 2013


    I've never cooked biryani before. This recipe was easy to follow, and the result was perfection. Very tasty!  -  13 Aug 2011