Aromatic fish dum biryani

Aromatic fish dum biryani
Photo: Shutterstock/Indian Food Images

Fish biryani is like a blue blood among biryanis. It is harder to get right, it is often costlier than the other varieties and it tastes heavenly. Here is a mouth-watering fish biryani recipe from celebrity chef Suresh Pillai. Pillai explains that proper planning and choosing fresh ingredients are key to preparing tasty biryani.

Try out this four-stage recipe to make fish biryani at home easily.

For the marinade:
2 kg halibut fish
¾ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp crushed pepper powder
Chopped curry leaves
Salt as required
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp mustard oil (or sunflower oil)
For the masala:
500 gm onions
½ kg shallots
6 tomatoes (pureed)
15 crushed green chilies
3 crushed garlic
50 gm crushed ginger
1 bunch of mint leaves
1 bunch of coriander leaves
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 ¼ tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp garam masala
150 gm yoghurt
Salt as required
3 ½ tbsp coconut oil
2 kg basmati rice

Marinate the fish fillets using the marinade
Keep the marinated fish in the fridge
Prepare fish stock by boiling the head and bones of the fish in water mixed with turmeric powder, garlic, curry leaves, Malabar tamarind and salt
Strain the stock and set it aside
Wash the basmati rice and soak for at least 2 hours
Meanwhile, to prepare the masala, heat coconut oil in a pan
Saute garlic, ginger and green chilies
Add onions and shallots
Saute well
Into it add coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt
Mix well
Now add the tomato puree
Saute until the raw smell of these ingredients are gone
Add garam masala
Roast on low flame until the masala turns aromatic
Pour half of the fish stock into this
Mix well
Add mint leaves and coriander leaves too
Give everything a good mix
Cook on low flame
Boil the remaining fish stock with some more water, green chilies, mint leaves, curry leaves and salt
Meanwhile, fry the marinated fish fillets
Make sure that the fish fillets aren’t over cooked and crumbled

Set them aside
Add the soaked basmati rice when the stock boils well
Strain the rice when it is almost done
Mix yoghurt in the previously prepared masala
Now add the fried fish fillets
Sprinkle some finely chopped mint and coriander leaves
Add a layer of rice on top of this
Add fried cashews, onions, curry leaves, mint leaves and some ghee too
Close the vessel
Cook on dum (tightly covered trapping the steam within the vessel) until the flavours develop
Enjoy the special fish dum biryani with raita and pickle.

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