fish biryani recipe (machhali biryani)

Fish biryani, a seafood special delicacy made in a special manner using rice and fish cooked together in aromatic flavours. It is a special seafood recipe to try which tastes best with any kind of fish. Fish rice is a unique and different combination together which should definitely be tried at home and during occasions.

I tried to make this in Hyderabadi style method fish dum biryani but different ways such as Kerala fish biryani too are almost same with similar ingredients and procedure.

Other biryani or rice varieties on blog are ambur biryani, egg biryani, chicken dum biryani, mutton biryani, hyderabadi veg biryani.

fish biryani with fried fish pieces on a plate

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About the recipe

This is a flavorful combination of rice and fish together which is a different delicacy to try out other than chicken biryani or mutton biryani. Making seafood special biryani recipes do taste great and usually, they are made using any fish such as boneless fish or fish with one bone or prawns.

I also have some of the best recipes shared using fish and prawns on the blog to check out.

This recipe tastes good with raita as well as any biryani side dish such as onion raita, bagara baingan or mirchi ka salan.

Here, the dish is made quickly by making an aromatic curry base, adding fried fish pieces all over, adding steamed rice over the top and placing the whole biryani set up on dum.

The machhali biryani can be made in two ways which is by directly marinating fish in spices and herbs, onion and yoghurt and placing it on dum by combining it with rice.

Another method is to make the curry first and then adding rice to cooked curry and then giving dum. I am making a pakki style of fish biryani which can be made quickly as well.

There are other ways too such as Kerala style biryani or Hyderabadi style and all methods are similar when it comes to fish biryani.

Which fish to use?

To make this recipe, any fish can be used especially the fish which has good taste. Normally, using fish without any bones works great as it is easy to eat along with rice, but if boneless fish is not available nearby, going for any variety of fish is fine.

There are many varieties of fish available in markets that have a good taste, and some are good health-wise. Some of them to name are Tilapia, Tuna, Mackerel, Salmon, Rohu, Surmai and among these, some are Indian species and some are International one’s.

Always go for regional fishes which are freshly fished out and also that turn out good taste-wise. Using fish with bones can be risky as the tenderized fish can open up and the bones can get mixed in rice.

This can be a great cause of concern while having the dish for kids and young one’s. Therefore, it is best to use boneless fish in order to avoid bones mixed in the rice after cooking.

Generally, fish varieties are easily available in coastal regions but nowadays it is easy to get fish from any place or fish store.

Ingredients

Fish: I am using boneless fish which are cut into medium sizes. Do wash the fish well before use and if there is a fishy smell in any fish, wash with lemon extract and salt to get rid of the smell.

The fish is marinated and fried well before adding it to the dum biryani. This way of making brings out flavors of the fish and tastes best.

Basmati rice: It is better to use long grain rice for better results. The rice needs to be soaked well before adding it to boiling water. Soaked rice turns longer while cooking and appears good in looks as well as cooks well.

Onions and yogurt: Finely sliced onions help in turning out golden quickly and onions and curd together make the base of the gravy to make the biryani.

Spices: Since every biryani is incomplete without spices, using them here as well as they are the main aromatic ingredients for any biryani. I am using them while boiling rice as well as while making the curry base. The rest of the spices are whole spices and dry spices commonly used and easily handy in kitchens.

Herbs: These give a good aroma and are essential to bringing out the necessary flavours in biryani recipes. They are mint leaves, cilantro leaves and chillies which also form an essential part of the biryani making process.

Check out some more fish recipes on the blog which are fish curry, apollo fish, masala fish, prawn curry, air fryer fish fillet, chepala pulusu.

fish biryani with fried fish pieces on a plate

Step by step procedure

Fish marination and frying

  • Add fish pieces in a mixing bowl (clean and wash the pieces well).
Adding fish pieces to a mixing bowl.
  • add salt to taste, add red chilli powder, add turmeric powder, add ginger garlic paste.
adding spices
  • Mix everything well and marinate the fish for 1 hour in refrigerator.
marinating the fish
  • Heat oil in a pan. Drop the marinated fish pieces.
deep frying the fish
  • Deep fry the fish pieces until nicely fried.
frying the fish well
  • take them out and set them aside for later use in biryani.
taking them out

Fish curry base

  • Take a cooking pot. Add oil and heat it, add cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, cloves, shahi jeera.
Adding oil and whole garam masala.
  • add finely sliced large onion and saute the onions.
adding finely sliced large onion and sauteing the onions
  • Stir fry the onions until they reach golden color and then add ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute.
deep frying the onions
  • Add in turmeric powder, red chilli powder. Also, add green chillies, add garam masala powder, black peppercorn powder and mix well.
adding herbs
  • add in 1 small cup of yogurt. Give a mix.
adding yogurt
  • add salt to taste and mix.
adding salt to taste and mix
  • Cook the masala until oil releases well on low to medium heat.
Cooking the masala
  • Keep stirring in between.
  • Set aside and start boiling rice for giving dum.

Rice and dum method procedure

  • In a cooking pot, add enough water for boiling. Add salt to taste, shahi jeera, black peppercorns, add small cinnamon sticks, cardamoms, 2 cloves, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon oil.
boiling water for rice with spices
  • Bring the water to a boil.
boiling water
  • Add in 2 cups of soaked basmati rice to the boiling water(soak the rice for about 40 minutes), Stirand cook the rice until it is ¾ done or 75% done.
adding soaked rice and cooking
  • Switch off the flame.
  • Place the fried fish pieces over the curry base.
Placing the fried fish pieces over the curry base
  • Add the strained rice all over the gravy curry.
Adding the strained rice all over the gravy curry
  • Garnish with chopped mint leaves, chopped coriander leaves.
Garnishing with herbs
  • Also, add orange food color mixed in water, saffron strands soaked in milk, lemon juice, ghee.
adding toppings of oil, food color and ghee on fish biryani
  • Close the lid of the biryani pot tightly and dum the biryani on medium heat for 5 minutes. Dum on low heat for 15 minutes until rice is nicely done.
giving fish biryani dum
  • Fish biryani is ready.
serving the fish biryani

Video

Recipe

fish biryani with fried fish pieces on a plate

fish biryani recipe, machhali biryani

yummy indian kitchen

Fish biryani, a pakki yakhni style of cooking rice, with a gravy, fish together on dum.

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Prep Time 45 mins

Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins

Course biryani, Main(Rice)

Cuisine Indian, South Indian

Servings 2

Calories 206 kcal

Ingredients  

Fish marination

  • 6-7 fish pieces
  • salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger-garlic paste

For the gravy base:

  • 2-3 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon shahi jeera
  • 1 finely sliced large onion
  • ½ teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 3 green chillies
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorn powder
  • 1 small cup of yogurt.
  • salt to taste

Rice and garnishing

  • water for boiling rice
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon shahi jeera
  • 3-4 black peppercorns
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 cups basmati rice (soaked for at least 40 minutes)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon orange food color mixed in water
  • 2 saffron strands soaked in milk
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ghee

Instructions 

Fish marination and frying:

  • Add fish pieces in a mixing bowl (clean and wash the pieces well).

  • add salt to taste, add red chilli powder, add turmeric powder, add ginger garlic paste.

  • Mix everything well.

  • Marinate the fish for 1 hour in refrigerator.

  • Heat oil in a pan.

  • Drop the marinated fish pieces.

  • Deep fry the fish pieces until nicely fried.

  • Take them out and set them aside for later use in biryani.

Fish curry base:

  • Take a cooking pot.

  • add oil and heat it.

  • add cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, cloves, shahi jeera.

  • add finely sliced large onion.

  • Saute the onions.

  • Stir fry the onions until they reach golden color.

  • add ginger garlic paste.

  • Saute for a minute.

  • Add in turmeric powder, red chilli powder.

  • Also, add green chillies, add garam masala powder, black peppercorn powder.

  • Mix well.

  • add in 1 small cup of yogurt.

  • Give a mix.

  • add salt to taste.

  • Mix.

  • Cook the masala until oil releases well on low to medium heat.

  • Keep stirring in between.

  • Set aside and start boiling rice for giving dum.

Rice and dum procedure:

  • In a cooking pot, add enough water for boiling.

  • Add salt to taste, shahi jeera, black peppercorns.

  • Also, add small cinnamon sticks, cardamoms, 2 cloves, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon oil.

  • Bring the water to a boil.

  • Add in 2 cups of soaked basmati rice to the boiling water(soak the rice for about 40 minutes).

  • Stir.

  • Cook the rice until it is ¾ done or 75% done.

  • switch off the flame.

  • Place the fried fish pieces over the curry base.

  • Add the strained rice all over the gravy curry

  • Garnish with chopped mint leaves, chopped coriander leaves.

  • Also, add orange food color mixed in water, saffron strands soaked in milk, lemon juice, ghee.

  • Close the lid of the biryani pot tightly.

  • Dum the biryani on medium heat for 5 minutes.

  • Dum on low heat for 15 minutes until rice is nicely done.

  • Fish biryani is ready.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

fish biryani recipe, machhali biryani

Amount Per Serving

Calories 206
Calories from Fat 171

% Daily Value*

Fat 19g29%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Trans Fat 1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 5g

Monounsaturated Fat 11g

Cholesterol 8mg3%

Sodium 229mg10%

Potassium 73mg2%

Carbohydrates 10g3%

Fiber 5g21%

Sugar 3g3%

Protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 12IU0%

Vitamin C 12mg15%

Calcium 48mg5%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Variations

Another way to make this biryani is also simple. To make it in kachhi yakhni dum method, wash the fish pieces and marinate them in dry spices such as salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, garam masala powder, fried onions, yogurt, chopped cilantro leaves, chopped mint leaves, little oil and lemon juice.

Marinate the mix for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Boil rice separately until 75% done. Take a cooking pot, add the marinated fish mixture and then top it up with ¾th done rice all over the marinade. Garnish with herbs and colour.

Close the lid, dum the fish biryani for 5 minutes on high and low heat for 20 minutes or until steam appears well on top and rice appears to be done.

Do not dum on high heat as the gravy burns at the bottom or place a Tawa below the cooking pot to avoid burning.

Source: Yummy Indian Kitchen – Indian and International Recipes

By AlJazeera