Recipe: Spicy fish biryani

The rich and aromatic dish is definitely worth the extra effort

Tanveer Khadim January 29, 2015

This scintillating biryani takes a little more time to cook than other types of biryani but the rich and aromatic dish is definitely worth the extra effort.


For the rice:

•  Rice 1/2 kg

•  Boneless fish fillets (cut into 1-inch pieces) 1 kg

•  A large onion (sliced) 1

•  Tomatoes (chopped) 2

•  Green chillies 4-6

•  Mint leaves (chopped) 1/2 cup

•  Coriander (chopped) 1/2 cup

•  Oil for frying

•  A pinch of saffron

For the fish marinade:

•  Lemon juice 3 tbsp

•  Garlic (ground) 1 tbsp

•  Ginger (ground) 1 tbsp

•  Red chilli powder 1 tbsp

•  Turmeric powder 1 tsp

•  All spice powder 1 tsp

•  Black pepper 1 tsp

•  Salt 1 tsp

For the gravy:

•  Red chilli powder 1 tbsp

•  Coriander powder 2 tbsp

•  Cumin powder 1 tsp

•  Turmeric powder ½ tsp

•  Black pepper powder 1 tsp

•  All spice powder 1 tsp

•  Black pepper (whole) 8 pieces

•  Cloves 8 pieces

•  Green cardamom 4 pieces

•  Yogurt 1/2 cup

•  Salt to taste


•  Place the fish in a large bowl and cover it with lemon juice along with all the other ingredients for the marinade. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and ensure that the fish is covered on all sides. Cover the bowl and allow the meat to rest for about 20 minutes.

•  Once the fish is marinated, heat some oil in a deep-frying pan and cook the fish until it becomes golden. Carefully transfer the fried fish chunks onto a plate and set them aside.

•  In the meantime, boil the rice, and make sure it doesn’t overcook and become soggy.

•  Prepare the gravy in a separate pan by heating some oil and frying the onions in it until they become golden. Add in ginger and garlic to the pan and stir-fry for about one minute before adding in the remaining spices for the gravy. Cook for another minute or so, stirring the gravy intermittently.

•  Add yogurt to the gravy and let it simmer for two to three minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes along with four tablespoons of water and cook the gravy for another five minutes or until the oil rises. Once this is done, drop in the chopped green chillies, mint and coriander leaves and cook for one more minute before taking the gravy off heat.

•  Layer another large, non-stick pan with some oil and spread a layer of boiled rice on it. Add the gravy and fried fish pieces on top and then cover this second layer with the remaining rice.

•  Garnish the biryani with saffron, mint and coriander leaves, cover it and cook on very slow flame for about six to eight minutes. The saffron should be mixed in a tablespoon of milk to water before use.

•  Mix all the layers of the biryani before serving.

•  Garnish the dish with cucumber slices and serve with cooling raita.

Fish - The healthiest meat?

•  Some breeds of fish, particularly salmon, trout, herring, sardines and tuna are a goldmine for essential omega-3 fatty acids which are imperative for health cardiovascular function and cancer. Cardiologists prescribe fish to their patients as it is believed that the unsaturated fats found in it reduce the risk of heart attacks and regulate cholesterol levels in the body.

•  Fatty acids replenish the skin and hair, boosting their shine and texture. A sufficient consumption of fish (at least thrice a week) can actually help the treatment of skin disorders like psoriasis.

•  Fish meat helps clear blood vessels and promotes the circulation of blood through the body, thereby reducing the risk of clots, inflammation and thrombosis.

•  Vitamin A found in fish meat which maintains eyesight and shields against age-related macular degeneration and blurry eyesight. Fish is also rich in Vitamin D, which boosts bone and brain development in children while reducing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in ageing people and prevents memory and cognitive decline as well.

•  Fish has been proven to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in adults. In fact, recent research has found that eating fish is highly helpful against depression. One research, in particular, found that including fish in expecting mothers’ meals can reduce the risk of post-partum depression.

•  Iodine, zinc, selenium and potassium in fish ward off many diseases such as thyroid gland related hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, January 25th, 2015.


Rehana Asfandyar | 8 years ago | Reply

Yumlicious...sounds easy to cook.

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