Malabar-style fish biriyani: An aromatic delicacy that can lift your mood

Spanish mackerel fish is used to make this dish. Photo: Chef Arun Vijayan

It's often said that the chicken and mutton varieties of biryani enjoy the most fandom, but the fish and prawn variants also have their own admiration clubs.

The perfect blend of marinated fish and aromatic, spicy rice can make a Malabar-style fish biryani a dish that lifts your spirits. If in the mood to try a new variety of the one-pot wonder, give this fish biryani a try.

1 kg khaima rice
1 kg neymeen (Spanish mackerel)
300 grams big onion
150 grams tomato
75 grams of crushed ginger and garlic
50 grams of green chillies
50 ml sunflower oil
70 ml ghee
Salt (as required)
20 grams coriander powder
20 grams of fennel seeds powder (perum jeerakam)
5 grams of turmeric powder
50 ml curd
10 grams coriander leaves
10 grams mint leaves
1 ½ ltr water
10 grams Garam Masala powder
10 grams of ginger-garlic paste
10 grams of chilli powder
10 grams of refined wheat flour (maida)
10 pieces of cloves
2 pieces cinnamon
5 grams pepper
2 pieces bay leaves
5 pieces cardamom
5 grams fennel seeds

Take the khaima rice, rinse it thoroughly till the water runs clear, and soak it in water for an hour
Marinate the fish by mixing maida, ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, and salt and grill it in a pan
Take a biryani vessel and heat sunflower oil in it
Put the garam masala mix into the vessel along with a big onion, which is cut into pieces, and pour 1.5 litres of water
Drain out the water completely and cook the rice in the vessel
As the water content in rice begins to evaporate, cover the vessel with a lid and allow it to cook for another five minutes
Switch off the flame and keep it covered for another 30 minutes
As the rice gets cooked, pour 50 ml of sunflower oil into the vessel and put 300 grams of thinly cut slices of big onion
Saute it for some time and as it turns golden brown, put the finely chopped tomato pieces into it along with fennel powder, coriander powder, and salt
Continue frying till they are mashed
Now, put the fried fish into the mix and cook for another five minutes on low flame
Mix curd with mint and coriander leaves and stir briskly to ‘dum’ (Persian breath or the slow cooking method of making biryani) the rice
Put it onto the masala mix and ‘dum’ it once again by covering and sealing it with a layer of fried cashew nuts, raisins, and finely chopped coriander and mint leaves
Cook in a low flame for another 20 minutes
Pair it with a delicious salad, chutney, or lemon pickle and savour!

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