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Fish Biryani

Perfect layers of spicy fish with layers of fragrant rice. The ultimate comfort food.
Course Main Course
Servings 4


For the fish marinade

  • 500 g firm white fish
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Lemon juice as needed

For boiling the rice

  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 ½ tsp salt

For cooking the fish

  • Oil for cooking
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric

For layering

  • Small onion sliced and fried until golden
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves chopped
  • ¼ cup mint leaves chopped


Marinating the fish

  • Mix the spices for the fish marinade and add lemon juice slowly until it forms a paste. It usually takes juices of half a lemon, but it differs a lot depending on type and size of lemons used.
  • Cover the fish with the spices paste and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 20 mins or up to 2 hours.

Soaking the rice

  • Wash the rice twice and soak it for 30 mins.

Cooking the fish

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add onion and fry till they are slightly browned.
  • Add green chili and ginger garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes.
  • Now add tomato and all the ground spices, half cup water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the fish pieces along with the marinade.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes till fish is done and the masala is slightly dry.

Boiling the rice

  • Add rice, whole spices for boiling the rice and ghee along with 5 cups of boiling water to a pot. Cover and cook till almost cooked through.
  • Drain well.

Layering the biryani

  • Add rice to the cooked fish.
  • Sprinkle fried onion, coriander, and mint.
  • Cover the pot tightly with a lid.
  • Let the biryani cook on your lowest heat setting for 25-30 minutes.
  • Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with fried onions and fried cashew nuts.