August 6, 2011

Fish Biriyani

I am making Fish Biriyani after a long time. I always love to cook with fresh fish. Fish biriyani tastes best with King Fish and we get only frozen ones here. I was a little apprehensive of cooking with frozen fish, but the biriyani turned out very yummy.  We were really hungry by the time it was done, so I just took one click of it, so the picture is not that good. I'm planning to make this again when I go to my home in Kerala and will update a better picture here...


1. King fish slices - 500 gms
    Kashmiri Chilly powder - 1 tbsp (Adjust the quantity if you are using regular chilly powder)
    Turmeric powder - a pinch
    Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
    Lime Juice - 1/2 tsp
    Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp

2. Oil - for shallow frying the fish
    Onions - 2, Chopped
    Tomatoes - 2, chopped
     Finely chopped ginger - 2 tsp
     Finely chopped garlic - 2 tsp
     Coriander powder - 1 to 2 tsp
     Chilly powder - to taste
     Biriyani masala powder - 2 tsp (or homemade garam masala)
     Thick Coconut milk - 1/4 cup (optional)
3. For the Biriyani Rice
   Oil/Ghee - 2 tbsp
   Green cardamom -4
   Cloves -4
   Cinnamon - 2 inch piece
   Star anise - 1 small broken to pieces
   Onion sliced finely - 1 small
   Basmati Rice - 2 cups
   Lemon juice - 2 tsp

4. For garnishing
    Coriander and mint leaves chopped - a handful
    Cashew nuts and raisins - as you like :-)
    Sliced onions deep fried - a handful


1. Wash the kingfish slices and drain. Mix all the ingredients in item 1 and marinate for 30-60 mins.
2. Heat oil in a pan for shallow frying the fish. Fry the fish peices f or a few minutes till it is about half cooked. Drain and keep aside.
3. In the same oil used for frying, add onions, ginger, garlic and salt. Saute till onions are soft. 
Add coriander powder and combine well. Now add the tomatoes and saute till they are mushy. 
4. Add pepper powder or chilly powder to adjust the spiciness. Now add the fish pieces and gently mix the masala without breaking the fish pieces. If you like to add coconut milk, add now and simmer for few minutes till the fish is fully cooked. The gravy becomes very thick now. Add a little coriander leaves and mint leaves and combine well and close it with a lid.

Cooking the Rice
1. Wash the rice well and soak in water for 30 mins and then drain.Heat Oil/Ghee in a vessel and add the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Saute for a minute and add the onions. Saute for few minutes. Do  not let the onions brown.
2. Add the basmati rice and mix well. When the rice starts crackling, add 4 cups of hot water, lemon juice and salt. Note that the salt is only for the rice. We have used salt separately for the masala.
3. Cook till rice is done and the water is dried up.

Layering the Biriyani
1. Grease the bottom of a non stick/thick bottom vessel with some ghee.
2. Make a layer of biriyani rice. After that make a layer of fish masala. Repeat this process till the rice and masala is layered completely. The top layer must be of rice.
4. Deep fry sliced onion in oil/ghee and keep aside. Fry cashew nuts and raisins in ghee. Spread the fried onions, cashews and raisins on the layered biriyani.
5. Also add the chopped coriander and mint leaves.
6. Place the vessel on top of stove and lower the flame. Keep it for 5-10 mins.
7. You may also place a pan of boiling water on top of the biriyani vessel so that the heat is from both the sides.

Microwave option: Do the layering in a large microwave safe dish and cover with  lid. Microwave it for 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with raitha.

Linking with Iftar Nights at Jabeen's Corner

Sending this to Kerala Kitchen - August 2011 hosted by Vidhya of Sugar N Spice. Visit The Kerala Kitchen page here.

Linking to Joy from Fasting to Feasting-IV at Yummy Food

Also linking to Rice Recipes


  1. Biryani was my favorite dish when we lived in New Delhi but I've never eaten it with fish, always with mutton or chicken. My husband is Japanese and loves fish so this is perfect for him. I'm going to try it. I'm following you from Rome! Have a nice weekend! I had a friend in New Delhi from Kerala and whenever she went back home she'd bring us back the bananitas, small bananas. I had never seen them, they were so delicious!

  2. Hi Ciccia, Fish biriyani is common in coastal Kerala. You can find Chicken, Mutton, Prawns and Mushroom biriyani recipes in this blog. I am from Kerala and I love those small bananas. I miss them badly as I live in UK now. Thanks for following me...You have a lovely blog and I saw your pics in Rome..Lovely !!!

  3. Wow, wonderful ramya. Perfectly done. I have to try this.


  4. im drooling this biriyani

  5. Lip Smacking Biriyani.. Yum Yum :)

    Thanks For Linking it with Iftar Nights..

    Jabeen's Corner

    Ongoing Event-Iftar nights

  6. Lovely biryani... Loved the beautifully done fish sitting on top.

  7. Drool worthy fish biryani..makes me hungry

  8. This looks awesome.Thanks for the entry.

  9. Flavoursome and it....Thank u for sending it down to Joy from fasting to feasting - IV.....

  10. hmm....yummy fish biryani...absolute delicious one....
    first time to ur had a lovely one..keep going..
    enjoyed browsing...loved ur collection..

  11. Me and my kids loved it..really yummy. thanks


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