Fish Biriyani

Malabar Fish Biryani- Kerala Style Fish Biriyani

The authentic biriyani dish from North Kerala. Malabar Fish Biriyani- Kerala Style Fish Biriyani, recipe with step by step follows.


Malabar Fish Biriyani is a rice based dish blended with spices and fish. It can also be called Kerala biriyani. The main difference between Malabar biriyani and other biriyani is that it uses only jeerakasala rice/ kaima rice, a short grain, thin rice with good flavour, which is known as biriyani rice in Kerala. And I have fallen in love with this short grain, mildly flavored rice.


In this biriyani the  blending of ghee rice with masala is done by the dum process. The fish biriyani masala and ghee rice are arranged in layers inside the dish. The fish is marinated and fried before added to biriyani masala.

Malabar Fish Biriyani

This is a wonderful aromatic Fish Biriyani and the recipe is similar to the Prawns Biriyani I posted before and tastes yummy.

Malabar Fish Briyani

How to Make Malabar Fish Biriyani- Kerala Style Fish Biriyani

Wash rice and soak in water for 20 minutes, drain out in a strainer and keep it aside. Marinate fish with 2 tsp lemon juice, pepper powder, fennel powder, salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp ginger paste and 1 tsp garlic paste. Keep it rest for 30 minutes before frying.

step1 step1a

Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan and fry cashews, rasins and onion. Remove it to plate and keep it aside.


Heat a deep bottom sauce pan, pour 2 tbsp ghee. Add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, star anise, fennel seeds and bay leaves. Fry for a minute and add 1 sliced onion, saute until onion turn light brown color.

step3 step3a

Now add in soaked kaima rice and saute it for 3 minutes.

step4 step4a

Add 3 cups of boiled water( ratio is 1 cup rice= 1 and 1/2 cup water), salt and 2 tsp lemon juice. Combine well and cook in a medium low flame until water fully absorbed.

step5 step5a

Heat a pan with 1 tbsp ghee, slowly put the marinated fish and lightly shallow fry the fish pieces. Remove to a plate and keep it aside.

Step6 STEP6A

In the same fish fried pan, add the remaining sliced onions, and add in 1tsp salt.


Once onion starts to change color, add in garlic paste and ginger paste. Fry it on a medium low flame for 3 minutes.


Add the sliced tomatoes and green chillies and mix well. 


Then add in the remaining 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and garam masala powder, combine well for a minute.


Add in the yogurt / poppy seed paste and mix well. Heat should be on low. Then adjust salt.

step11 step11a

Add chopped coriander and mint leaves and mix well.


Now very slowly place the fish on top of the gravy and close it with a lid. Simmer the flame for 3 minutes, so that the fish absorbs all the flavors. Turn off the flame.


Now Spread half of the cooked rice evenly on top of the gravy. Sprinkle fried onions, rasins, nuts, coriander leaves, a pinch of garam masala and sprinkle half of saffron diluted coconut milk.


Add the remaining rice, fried onions, nuts, rasins, garam masala, coriander leaves, and sprinkle remaining saffron soaked milk. Close it with a tight lid, so that steam does not escapes. Keep it on a slow flame for 5-7 minutes.Switch off the flame and keep it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve it along with Onion raita and pickle.


Enjoy!! Happy Cooking.

Meen Briyani

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