This fish biryani will be loved by both fish lovers and haters. A dish that would be perfect for a family gathering or just to enjoy your weekend with your loved ones. 
I rarely make fish biryani at home. I made it just once long back. Biryani means its always chicken or mutton here. The main reason for that is I don’t like fish much. But my husband is a big seafood lover, so is my 2 year old son. 
So last Thursday I told Fadal that I am thinking of making fish biryani for Friday lunch. He got so excited that he went and got fresh pomfret from the market. So I made biryani with it and it came out really good. 
The main thing I can’t stand is the smell of the fish, but since I made the biryani with fresh fish, it didn’t have the smell at all. My son and husband loved the biryani. That made me very happy. 🙂 I had got quite a few requests for this recipe. Hope this is what you guys were looking for. Enjoy!
Sorry there are very few, not so great pictures for this one as two hungry guys were waiting to attack the biryani. And sorry for the lame write up, very very busy today. 😀
  • 500g fish
To marinate:
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
For masala:
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom
  • 6-8 black peppercorns
  • 3 cups chopped onions (3 large)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 garam masala powder
  • 1 full cup chopped tomatoes ( 2 medium)
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • coriander leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp oil
For the ghee rice:
  • 2-3 tbsp ghee
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2-3 cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups basmati/ Jeerakashala rice
  • 4 cups of boiling water 
  • salt to taste


  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp water plus 1/4 tsp turmeric powder mixed together.
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • handful of cashews, slit
  • handful of raisins
  • extra ghee
To make masala:
  1. fullsizerender-5Marinate fish with the above mentioned ingredients.
  2. Shallow fry. Keep aside.
  3. In the same pan add 3-4 tbsp of oil.
  4. Add the whole spices and stir around till the aroma gets released.
  5. Add the chopped onions. Sauté till it turns soft and golden brown in color.
  6. In the meantime, grind together garlic, ginger and green chillies till you get a coarse paste.
  7. Once the onions are soft, add in the ground mix. Sauté well.
  8. fullsizerender-2Add in coriander powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder. Mix well.
  9. Add in the tomatoes. Add salt. Cover and cook till the tomatoes are completely mushy and like a paste. 
  10. Add yoghurt. Mix well and cook for 3 minutes.
  11. Add coriander leaves.
  12. Finally layer the fried fish on top of the masala, cover the pan with lid and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
fullsizerender-6In a little ghee or oil fry the onions till golden brown and crisp.
Then fry cashews and then raisins. Keep aside. These will used later for garnishing.
To make ghee rice:
  1. fullsizerender-3In a pan, add the ghee. Drop in the whole garam masala.
  2. Once the aroma is released, add in the washed and drained rice.
    ( If you are using basmati rice, it would be better to soak the rice for 1/2 an hour). Fry the rice in ghee for a minute on high heat.
  3. Pour the boiled 4 cups of water. Pour in the lemon juice. Add in the salt.
  4. Let it boil on high heat till the water reduces. ( The water should be in the same level as the rice).
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover with lid and cook for 10 minutes. Open lid and just stir the rice carefully. Close the lid again and cook for 5 more minutes. Once the rice is cooked, fluff up the rice with a fork or a large spatula carefully without breaking the rice.
To Assemble the biryani:
  1. fullsizerender-4Divide the rice into three parts.
  2. In a pot, place a layer of rice. Pour in few drops of ghee all over the rice.
  3. Separate the fish from the masala. 
  4. Then spread half of the masala on top.
  5. Again place a layer of ghee rice. Pour few teaspoons of ghee all over the rice.
  6. Place the remaining half of the masala.
  7. Then the final layer of ghee rice. Pour few teaspoons of ghee all over, then pour the turmeric and lemon juice mix for the yellow color evenly over the rice.
  8. Place the fried fish evenly on top. Cover the vessel with foil (to ensure that the steam stays in), then close the lid tightly and keep for dum on lowest heat inside the oven for 30 minutes. If you do not have an oven, just heat a tawa on lowest flame possible, place the biryani on top and cook for 20-25 minutes. Once the steam comes out you can take off the flame. Make sure the heat is lowest both in oven and stove top or else the biryani bottom might get burnt.
While serving add the fried onions, raisins and cashew on top and serve.
[yumprint-recipe id=’203′]

12 thoughts on “FISH BIRYANI

  1. Hi there .. got back from work today and told my husband im going to prepare fish biriyani tomorrow.. went and got fish.. just sat down to look up some recipe for that.. and opened your page first to know if you have posted anything new.. and bang ! Fish biriyani it is.. thankyou..

      1. Hello.. the biriyani turned out to be good.. thankyou for sharing your recipes.. love all of them.. could you please post more one pot indian dishes or curries like your lazy day chicken masala .. thankyou again.. good day..

        1. Aah thank God! Happy to know that you liked it. 🙂
          Yes in shaa Allah I will post more such curries. Did you try out instant badami chicken curry? That is a very easy one. I think you will like it.

          1. Thankyou and jazakallah khair .nope yet to try that.. somehow everytime i use nuts in curries it doesnt turn out so good..i dont get it as a paste any tips ? …

          2. Hmmm. Maybe the grinder you use is not very good for grinding into a paste. I had a problem like that with my old grinder. What I used to do is first powder the almonds without adding water, then I add little water to make paste.

  2. Hi Sadie,
    Tried out your Fish biriyani recipe yesterday…compared to other biriyani recipes that calls in for a lot more masalas nd all just with turmeric powder , coriander powder nd garam masala ur recipe is bang on!! Yummilicious!! Everybody loved it!! It’s got a restaurant like finish! ! Wud b my go to fish biriyani recipe forever!! Cheers!!

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