You can also use a bony fish in this rice recipe, but we preferred fillets because they are easier to eat and manage. Fish Biryani is perfect for brunches, cat parties, festivals, and other special occasions. It is a complete dinner in and of itself and pairs well with any raita or salad of your choosing. Try this super-simple biryani recipe.
Ingredients of Fish Biryani
- 500 gm fish fillet of your choice, cut into pieces (marinate this in a paste of 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp salt, quarter tsp turmeric powder, quarter tsp garlic paste, quarter tsp cumin powder and juice of a lemon)
- 4-5 onions, sliced finely and fried until golden
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp tomato paste/puree
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 cup yoghurt, fresh and well whipped
- 1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
- 1 green chilli, chopped
- salt to taste
- juice of half a lemon
- oil as needed
Ingredients For the Rice:
- 3 cups basmati rice, washed 2-3 times then soaked for half an hour
- saffron & food colouring
- whole spices
How to prepare the Fish for the Biryani:
- First, cook the marinated fish for 2-3 minutes per side. Just enough to help it keep its shape in the biryani and not fall apart while cooking. Keep in mind that it will be further cooked in the masala later.
- Heat a pan with a quarter cup of oil and cook the sliced onions until golden. Half of them should be removed from the pan and placed aside, while the other half should be left in the pan.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes and cook over medium to low heat until softened. You can even cover it for a bit to allow it to continue cooking until the tomatoes are extremely soft. Cook for a few minutes after adding the ginger and garlic, followed by the tomato paste/puree. Then toss in the whisked yoghurt and continue to cook on low heat until the yoghurt is fully integrated into the mixture and some oil begins to come out of the sides. Now add the powdered spices, green chili, coriander, and fish. Cook for about 15 minutes on low heat with the masala, adding a bit of water (less than half a cup) if it becomes too dry. Finally, add the lemon juice.
Preparation of the rice:
- Set aside a few saffron threads to soak in water.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add salt, 4 cardamom pods, 2-3 cinnamon sticks, and 2-3 cloves, as well as 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Drain the soaked rice and add it to the boiling water. Cook until the rice is approximately 3/4 done, then remove from the heat and filter out all of the water. Return half of the rice to the pan, followed by the reserved fried onions, the remaining chopped coriander and mint leaves, and the rest of the rice, so that the fish masala is sandwiched between the rice layers.
- Drizzle 2 tbsp. oil, the soaked saffron water, and some orange/yellow food coloring over the rice. Seal the pot and place it on dum/steam on the stove....or bake for around 10 minutes in the oven. Serve!!