Friday, July 19, 2013


Kerala fish biriyani with pickle and chutney

Kerala Fish Biriyani


Fish-cut into medium size pieces- 400 gms

For marination

  1. Kashmiri chili powder- 1.5 tsp
  2. Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  3. Black pepper powder-1/2 to 1 tsp
  4. Lemon juice-1/2 tsp
  5. Water- as required
  6. Salt to taste

For masala

  1. Onion sliced- 2 nos
  2. Ginger- crushed-  1.5 tsp
  3. Garlic -crushed- 1.5 tsp
  4. Green chilies-finely chopped- 2 nos ( or to taste)
  5. Kashmiri chili powder- 1 tsp
  6. Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  7. Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  8. Black pepper powder- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp( or to taste)
  9. Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
  10. Fennel powder- 1/4 tsp
  11. Water- 2 tbsp
  12. Tomato -finely chopped- 1 no
  13. Coconut milk -1/2 cup
  14. Oil- as required
  15. Salt to taste

For rice

  1. Basmati rice- 1.5 to 2 cups ( see notes)
  2. Bay leaves- 2 small
  3. Cloves- 3 nos
  4. Cardamom - 3 nos
  5. Cinnamon- 2" piece
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Oil /Ghee- as required

For Garnishing

  1. Onion sliced- 1/4 cup
  2. Cashew nuts- 1 tbsp
  3. Raisins- 1 tbsp
  4. Garam masala- as required
  5. Coriander and mint leaves- chopped- 1 tbsp each
  6. Ghee-1/2 to 1  tsp


To prepare rice.
  • Wash rice until water runs clear.Heat oil and ghee in a pan and add bay leaves,cloves,cardamom and cinnamon ,saute for few seconds and add the drained rice.Fry rice for 3 to 4 minutes,stirring continuously.
  • Add salt and water.Cover and cook until it is 3/4 th done.Drain and transfer it to a large tray and allow it to cool slightly.
To prepare Fish masala
  • Combine together all the ingredients listed under 'for marination' and rub it onto the fish slices.Keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the fish until 3/4 th done ,turning once in between.Transfer it onto a clean kitchen towel.
  • In the same pan ( add more oil if required) add onion,ginger,garlic and green chilies and saute till it turns golden brown.
  • Add kashmiri chili,turmeric,coriander,black pepper,garam masala and fennel powder along with 2 tbsp water.Mix well.Cook for 1 or 2 minutes or until  oil separates. 
  • Add chopped tomato and cook for  5 to 6 minutes or until tomato is completely cooked and masala starts to leaves the sides of the pan.
  • Add coconut milk and salt to taste.Bring this to just under a boil and add the fried fish.Gently mix until the masala coats the fish.Cook for  2 to 3 minutes.
For Layering
  • Heat oil/ghee in a pan ,fry onion,cashew nuts and raisins separately until it turns golden brown.Keep aside.
  • Preheat oven to 180 Deg C.
  • Lightly grease  a baking pan with ghee.Arrange prepared rice and fish masala in layers.Sprinkle one pinch of garam masala , 1/8 tsp ghee,and few tsp of chopped coriander and mint leaves on each layer of rice.
  • Garnish with fried cashewnuts,raisins and onion.
  • Cover it with an aluminium foil and bake for 15 to 20  minutes.
( for stove top method,layer rice and fish masala in a greased heavy bottomed pan and cover it tightly.Heat a tava /dosa pan and place the biriyani vessel on top of the tava.Reduce the flame to low and cook for about 20 minutes.)

If you like more masala for the biriyani,use 1.5 cups rice  or use 2 cups rice for a milder version.(I get about 4 cups cooked rice from 1 cup rice)
You can use King fish,Pomfret  or any other firm fish.

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