Kerala Fish Biryani


For the Rice

    Long grain Basmati rice – 2 cups
    Oil – 1 tsp
    Biriyani Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp
    Water – as required
    Salt – to taste

For the Biriyani Masala Gravy

    Thinly sliced Onions  – 2 medium sized
    Diced Tomatoes – 2 large
    Slit Green Chillies – 4
    Cinnamon – 1? piece
    Cloves – 4
    Fennel Seeds – 1/2 tsp
    Bay leaves – 2
    Curry Leaves – A sprig
    Cilantro, chopped – 1/4 cup
    Mint leaves, chopped – 1/4 cup
    Fresh Ginger Paste – 1 tbsp
    Fresh Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
    Kashmiri Chilly Powder – 1 tsp
    Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
    Fish Masala Powder – 2 tbsp (Any brand, I used Eastern Fish Masala Powder)
    Home Made Biriyani Masala Powder – 1 to 2 tsp
    Yogurt – 1 Cup
    Lemon Juice – 2 tbsp
    Cashew Halves – 1/4 cup
    Raisins – 1/4 cup
    Salt- to taste
    Ghee/Cooking oil – As required

For the Fish

    King Fish or Seer Fish Slices (Medium Sized) – 1 lb (Around 8 pieces)
    Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp

For Marinating the Fish

    Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
    Fish Masala Powder – 1 tbsp
    Chilly Powder – 1 tsp
    Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
    Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
    Ginger Paste – 1 tbsp
    Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
    Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
    Salt – to taste


    Soak Basmathi rice in water for around 45 minutes to 1 hour.
    Clean the king fish fillets thoroughly and soak it in water along with 1 tbsp lemon juice for around 10 minutes. This will remove any unwanted smell from the fish.
    Make a marinade using the above ingredients and rub it nicely on the fish pieces. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
    Boil the Basmati rice in atleast 6-8 cups of water with a little salt, 1/2 tsp biryani masala and 1 tsp oil, till each grain is separate and 3/4 cooked but not fully cooked. Add more water, if needed so that the rice doesn’t stick together. Drain excess water and keep the rice aside.
    Heat a big non stick pan or wok and add a combination of 3 tablespoons oil and ghee.
    Fry cashews and raisins until the cashews are lightly brown and the raisins become plump. Remove and keep aside.
    To the same pan, throw in fennel seeds, cinnamon, bay leaves and cloves. Saute for 2 minutes.
    Then add onions and saute till they are brown. This will take a while.
    Add the slit green chillies, curry leaves, chopped cilantro and mint leaves. Saute until the onions begin to brown.
    Next, add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are pulpy and mashed.
    Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for a minute.
    Reduce heat and add 1-2 tsp of biriyani masala powder, 1 tbsp fish masala powder, 1 tsp kashmiri chilly powder and 1/4 tsp turmeric and saute for a minute.
    Blend 1 cup of yogurt with little water and add it to the pan along with salt and mix well. Allow it to simmer for a while.
    Add the marinated fish fillets to the masala gravy and mix gently. Cover and cook the fish on medium heat for around 10-12 minutes. Keep the masala gravy aside.
    Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degree F. Apply some melted ghee or oil on a baking dish. Layer it with the semi cooked rice and the fish masala gravy alternatively. Sprinkle lemon juice in between.
    Cover the biriyani with an aluminuim foil and bake for 30 minutes.
    Garnish with fried cashews and raisins. It’s best to keep the biriyani for at least 4 hours before serving so that all flavors are absorbed.
    Mix the biriyani gently before serving. Serve the Fish Biriyani with Raitha, Pickle and Pappad