Fish Biryani

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian


To Clean the Fish:

  • 1 lb. of fish *
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice

For Marinade:

  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp fennel seed powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

For Paste:

  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 ½ inch ginger
  • 8 cloves garlic

To Fry Onions and Fish:

  • ½ cup vegetable oil, to fry onions and then fry the fish
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly

For Gravy:

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp oil **
  • 2 onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 large tomato, minced
  • 2 tbsp. of yogurt
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 stalk curry leaves
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. mint leaves, minced
  • Salt, as needed

Dry Spices:

  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder ***
  • 1 tsp biryani masala ****
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric

To Prepare the Rice:

  • 2 cups of Basmati Rice, clean and soak for 20 minutes (drain the water after 20 minutes)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 small anise seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For the Garnish:

  • Fried onions
  • Coriander leaves, minced
  • Mint leaves, minced
  • Cashews *****
  • Raisins *****
  • Pinch of saffron in 2 tablespoons of milk


Clean the Fish:

  • Cut the fish into small slices.
  • Wash with salt and lemon juice.
  • Rinse well and set aside.

Marinate the Fish:

  • Mix the ingredients well with the lemon juice to make the marinade.
  • Cover the fish with this marinade.
  • Marinate the fish by setting it aside for about 30 minutes.

Create the Paste:

  • Crush the green chilies, ginger and garlic in a food processor or use a mortar and pestle.
  • Set aside.

Fry the Onions and Fish:

  • In a pan, add 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil.
  • When oil is hot, fry the thinly sliced onions until golden brown.
  • Remove from oil and set aside. Half of the onions will be used for garnish and the other half will be used for the gravy.
  • In the same oil, fry the marinated fish for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • Set aside on a plate with a paper towel.

Prepare the Gravy:

  • In the remaining oil after frying the fish, add a tablespoon of ghee.
  • When hot, add the two thinly sliced onions and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt and mix.
  • Add the crushed ginger, garlic and crushed green chili paste.
  • Add curry leaves, mix well and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the dry spices - mix well.
  • Add minced tomatoes and cover the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir well.
  • Remove lid and cook until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  • Add 1⁄2 of the fried onions to the mix and stir. The other half will be used as a garnish.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 1⁄2 teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1⁄4 cup water.
  • At the first boil, add the fried fish.
  • Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Taste for salt.
  • Set aside.

Prepare the Rice:

  • In a pan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
  • Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, anise seed, salt and lemon juice.
  • Let boil for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Strain the water to take out the cardamom, cloves, anise seed and set water aside.
  • In a pan, add a tablespoon of ghee and add the rice that was cleaned, drained and set aside.
  • Stir well for 4-5 minutes.
  • Once the rice is ready, add the strained water.
  • After the first boil, reduce heat to medium or low and cook while stirring in between.
  • Check the rice. When the rice is cooked (soft) and the water is absorbed, turn the heat off.

Final Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a casserole pan/dish (9x13x2-1⁄2), arrange a layer of gravy and fish on the bottom and place a layer of rice on top.
  • Continue the layering until you fill the dish to the top, with the rice as the last layer.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and fried onions.
  • Sprinkle the saffron milk on rice. Cover the pan withaluminum foil.
  • Put the pan in the oven for 10-15 minutes on 325°.
  • Fish Biryani is ready to serve.



*I prefer King Fish - any fish, firm and fleshy will do well.
**Any oil will do.
***Adjust for taste.
****Can be store-bought or homemade.
Each recap video has a link to an Extended Edition where you can cook along with Ammini Aunty.
Keyword Fish or Seafood


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