Simple Fish Biriyani

Those who are following me on Instagram would have seen this picture I had posted earlier this week. It was an instant snap but very nicely summarizes a food blogger's muse.

Every food blogger depends so much on their food props, their dearest camera and the ever dependent laptop or desktop for doing what they do. I have to but say that the whole process of blogging really thrills me, even though at times I do lose my patience! Yes - I know, it does not seem to reflect on my blog though... I try my level best to keep posting as much as I can... till I get bored or till time squeezes me such that I am not able to manage to do that... :)

As promised yesterday, here is the biriyani recipe. I have posted a lot of biriyanis but none of them is with fish. So let this be one for the blog. This biriyani recipe is quite simple. I fry the fish and keep separately and serve it along with the rice. The masala would just have a few pieces of fish crumbled into it so that when you put the biriyani on dum, the smell of fish would permeate through the rice. Sharing with you the way I like to make my fish biriyani...

Simple Fish Biriyani
Serves 4


For the fish:
750 gm king-fish pieces
2 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp fennel powder
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp vinegar
Salt to taste
Oil for shallow frying

For the masala:
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced
3 green chillies
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder

For the rice:
1 tbsp ghee
1 inch cinnamon
1 bay leaf
4 cloves
6 peppercorn
3 cardamoms
2.5 cups basmati rice
Salt to taste
4 cups hot water

For the dum:
2 tbsp ghee
1 meduim onion, sliced
10 cashew nuts
10 raisins
4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp garam masala


Combine the masala ingredients for the fish, marinate it for a minimum of an hour. Shallow fry the fish till done. Keep aside 3-4 small pieces in the fried oil itself for crushing into the masala. Remaining can be drained on a kitchen towel and set aside. 

Heat oil in a big saucepan. Add the onions and chillies and saute till soft. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and cook for a couple of minutes till the raw smell is gone. Now add in the tomatoes and cook till the tomato is completely mashed. Add the masala powders and cook for another 5 minutes. At this stage, add the crushed fish along with the oil into the masala and cook on simmer for another 5 minutes. The masala will be quite dry. Switch off and set aside. 

Now let's make the rice - or do it side by side along with the masala! :) In a big pan, heat ghee. Fry the whole masalas till a nice aroma comes (I love this stage!) Add the basmati rice and roast for around 5 minutes or till crisp. Add in the hot water (ensure that the water is hot!), adjust salt and increase the flame to high till the water boils. As soon as the water boils, reduce to minimum and keep on closed lid for 10 minutes till the rice is done. It is not necessary that the rice needs to be fully cooked. When the water is gone completely, switch off the flame. You may get a grain bite in your rice, which is OK!

For the dum ingredients, heat ghee in a kadai. Fry the onions with a pinch of salt till brown. Drain and set aside. Fry the raisins till puffed, and then the cashews till brown. 

Now let us layer the biriyani. On top of the masala, sprinkle half of all the dum ingredients. Layer in the rice completely. Sprinkle the remaining dum ingredients along with the ghee used for frying the dum ingredients. Seal tightly with aluminium foil and close the lid. Keep on top of a hot chapathi tawa on low flame for around 15 minutes. Switch off and keep as such till serving time. Want to know how to put the dum? Refer to this post!

While serving, mix the biriyani completely so that the masala is equally distributed. Serve onto a plate, with a peice of fried king fish, some chammanthi, raita and a pickle - yes, dates pickle just tastes great with this!!! Last but not the least, devour!!!

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