Saturday, January 5, 2013

Kerala Fish Biriyani


  1. King fish , 2 pounds
  2. Onions , 3 Large
  3. Ginger, 1-2 inch - 2
  4. Garlic , 20 medium size cloves
  5. Green chilies , 5 medium size
  6. Tomato, 5 medium size
  7. Cilantro, 1 bunch
  8. Cashew, 20 whole
  9. Raisins, Handful
  10. Rice mix – cinnamon sticks (1/2 inch - 2), cardamom (2), cloves (2), bay leaves (2), oil or Ghee (1 tspn), and salt to taste.
  11. Biriyani masala – cloves (5), cinnamon sticks (1/2 inch - 2), cardamom (2), peppercorns (10), star anise (1),  mace (4 strips)
  12. Fish marination masala – turmeric (approx. 1 1/2 tspn), chili powder ( approx. 1 tspn), salt to taste
  13. Ghee (approx. 2 tbspn)


  1. Clean the fish, and cut them into larger than bite size pieces. Rub the marination masalas (refer 12) and keep aside for 1-2 hrs.
  2. While waiting for the fish to mix well with the marinated masalas, start preparing the garnish. Slice one onion into thin slices, and fry them in oil, once dark brown (in fact it will taste better if it is slightly burned), scoop them out, then roast the cashews in low heat until slightly brown, followed by the raisins. Keep these aside along with the finely chopped cilantro for garnishing at the end.
  3. Slice the remaining onions, then chop tomatoes, and green chilies.
  4. Grind the biryani masalas from ingredients list (refer 11) and keep aside.
  5. Chop ginger, and garlic, and then grind them to a fine paste.
  6. While the fish is being marinated we can cook the rice. Cook 4 cups of basmati rice in a cooker (if you have one or in any large vessel) with 2 tspn of oil (or Ghee), along with the rice cooking mix (refer 10).  
  7. The marinated fish should have absorbed the masalas by now. Start frying the fish pieces until cooked and slightly brown, scoop and keep aside.
  8. Into the same oil, add the ginger-garlic paste, once this is lightly brown (after the raw smell has gone), add the sliced onions and chopped green chilies.
  9. Once the onions turn brown, add the biryani masala powder. Cook this mixture for 10-15 minutes, and then add the chopped tomatoes.
  10. Once the tomatoes are fully cooked, add the fried fish pieces, and let this whole mixture cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Layering - Mix the cooked rice well without breaking. And now we reach the last stage of biriyani i.e. bringing it all together in layers. Take a reasonably sized vessel for layering; first layer rice at the bottom to about 1 inch deep, followed by fish mixture, then the garnish with fried onions, cashews, raisins, and cilantro. Repeat this till your final topmost layer is rice, and the remaining 4 items used to decorate and garnish, and then sprinkle melted ghee at top. Before serving warm this whole layered biriyani at very low heat for 5-10 mins.
  12. Enjoy this yummy biriyani with raitha (a yogurt side dish), pickle, and pappad!



  1. Hi Blessy, Fish Biriyani looks so very yummy. Can't wait to taste this when we are down for holidays :)

  2. BTW, the pix in order of recipe steps are fab, good work!

    1. Thanks. Yeah, you should definitely try it out when you get a chance!

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