Era Elai Biriyani, Prawn Biriyani cooked in Banana Leaf

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Necessity is the mother of invention.. And Here is what a hardcore biriyani lover invented – Era Ela Biriyani ( Prawn Biriyani cooked in Banana Leaf )..I have never heard or seen anyone cooking biriyani in banana or plantain leaf, however made a absolutely fluke attempt which the whole family applauded..Presenting the recipe today with you, with all the excitement and love 🙂 I chose prawns since it cooks in jiffy and this biriyani is truly truly lipsmacking, comes packed with all the aroma and vitamins from the banana leaf.. Banana leaves are excellent for steaming as it allows the steam to penetrate the food inside.. Lets go to the making..

Prawn Biriyani Cooked in Banana Leaf

Preparation Time : 20 mins             |          Marination Time : 1 hour              |      Cooking Time : 30 mins

Here is what  you will need..

For marination

500 gms Prawn cleaned

1/2 tspn salt

few fresh mint leaves

1/2 tspn red chilly powder

Few drops of Lemon

1/2 tspn ginger garlic paste

For Biriyani

2 cups Basmati Rice

20 Small onions cut half, You can replace them with big onions too, I prefer shallots or small onions

3 medium sized Tomatoes finely chopped

2 tspn ginger garlic paste

A handful of chopped mint leaves

A handful of chopped coriander leaves

1/2 cup of Tamarind extract

1 cup coconut milk

1 tspn red chilli powder ( You can adjust to suit your heat tolerance )

1/2 tspn garam masala powder

2 Big Onions

1/2 cup milk


Turmeric powder

3 cloves

3 cardamoms

1 cinnamon stick

1 bayleaf

4 to 5 tbspns of Cooking Oil

Coconut oil ( optional )



A thick and big banana leaf with no blemishes or tears

please note that the ingredient measurements can be scaled according to your wish.


1. Finely slice the big onions. Deep fry them and keep them aside.


2. Drop 10 to 12 saffron strands in lukewarm milk and let it rest for 15 mins. If you do not have saffron strands, feel free to replace them with turmeric powder. There is not much difference in taste.

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3. Soak a small gooseberry sized tamarind in hot water for 15 mins. Remove the extract.

4. Clean the rice. Add 2 cloves, 2 cardamom, rice, few drops of coconut oil, water and cook until the rice is cooked for about 75%.

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5. Marinate the prawns with the marination ingredients for an hour

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1. Heat oil in a pan, fry the prawns in high heat just for 3 mins so that surface turns crisp. Remove them and Keep them aside.

2. In the same oil which has prawn flavours infused, add whole garam masala spices, onions. Saute them until light golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes off.

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3. Add the chopped tomatoes, mint and coriander leaves, little salt. Mix well. Cover and cook them.

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4. Once the tomatoes are mashed, add red chilli powder, garam masala powder and turmeric powder. Saute the mix until the masalas are well blend.

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5. Add the tamarind water, cover pan. Let it boil for 2 minutes. Then add coconut milk. Check seasoning. Add salt if required.

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6. Add the saute-ed shrimps or prawns to the gravy and allow the gravy to boil in a medium flame until the oil separates well. The gravy thickens and becomes rich red in colour.

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7. Take the banana leaf. Smear drops of coconut oil(optional). Add little gravy –> rice —> Saffron milk —> crisp fried onions.

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8. Eyeball and compare the size of the leaf and the contents and keep repeating the layers. The top most layer should have gravy and onions.

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9. Carefully gather sides of the banana leaf and tie it with a thick thread. You definitely need someone’s help here, to ensure the leaf does not tears.

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10. Meanwhile boil water in a idli cooker in high heat for about 10 minutes. Place this biriyani pouch on the innermost idli plate and close the idli cooker. Steam the biriyani in medium heat for the next 10 mins.

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11. Once done, switch off the stove. Open the lid after 5 minutes. Let the banana leaf pouch cool for 5 minutes again.

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12. Open and gently mix with a fork. Serve immediately right from the banana leaf 🙂 It is heavenly 🙂

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I made two batches, since my cooker is not big enough to hold the full content and believe me  It is worth the efforts 🙂

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Please do try out and let me know your comments. Your comments help me grow. You can reach out for any doubts via mail or FB msg. Also, do not forget to send a picture when you try them, so that I can feature your creation on myFB page 🙂

Love & Shalom,



14 thoughts on “Era Elai Biriyani, Prawn Biriyani cooked in Banana Leaf

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