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Herbed Seafood Biryani

Herbed Seafood Biryani

Seafood Biryani with herbs; succulent scallops, crabmeat, prawns, a herby broth with dill, coriander and mint, pine nuts and aromatic Tilda Basmati rice.

Recipe by Alfred Prasad, courtesy of Great British Chefs.

  • Medium
  • Serves 6




Seafood Biryani

  • 350g Tilda Pure Basmati rice
  • 24 king prawns, peeled with tail left on
  • 12 Queen scallops, roe removed, keep some whole for garnish and cut the others into quarters
  • 40g white crab meat
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 200ml of fish stock
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tbsp natural set yoghurt
  • Cassia, one 2 inch piece (you can use cinnamon if you can’t get hold of cassia)
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 60ml of vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

Herb Paste

  • 1 knob ginger, 1 inch in length, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp of coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp of mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp dill tops, reserve a few sprigs for garnish
  • 2 green chillies, de-seeded


  1. To begin, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Sauté the bay leaves for 10 seconds and add sliced onions. Fry until deep golden brown.

  2. While the onions are cooking, place a large pan of water to boil. Wash and soak the rice in a large bowl of lukewarm water. Place the fish stock in a saucepan over medium heat, reduce by half and set aside.

  3. Grind the ingredients for the herb paste in a food processor and set aside.

  4. When the onions are browned, add the turmeric, fry for a minute and add the herb paste. Fry for a further 2–3 minutes, add the yoghurt and stir well to combine. Cook for a further 5 minutes and remove from heat.

  5. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and salt to the pan of boiling water, simmer for 5 minutes then remove the spices and discard. Drain the soaked rice and add to the boiling water, stirring gently.

  6. Meanwhile, heat the pan containing the herb mixture and add the scallops, prawns and crab meat. Sauté for a minute, stirring gently. Add the reduced fish stock and remove a few prawns and scallops for garnish.

  7. Check the rice – once it is three quarters cooked, drain in a colander and add to the pan containing the herbs and seafood. Stir gently to mix the herbs and seafood into the rice. Check the seasoning, add the lemon juice and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

  8. To serve, divide the biryani between bowls and garnish with a few of the reserved king prawns and scallops. Add a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts, lemon zest and dill fronds. Serve hot.