FISH BIRIYANI

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Ingredients

Fish-cut into medium size pieces- 400 gms

For marination

Kashmiri chili powder- 1.5 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Black pepper powder-1/2 to 1 tsp
Lemon juice-1/2 tsp
Water- as required
Salt to taste

For masala

Onion sliced- 2 nos
Ginger- crushed-  1.5 tsp
Garlic -crushed- 1.5 tsp
Green chilies-finely chopped- 2 nos ( or to taste)
Kashmiri chili powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Black pepper powder- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp( or to taste)
Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder- 1/4 tsp
Water- 2 tbsp
Tomato -finely chopped- 1 no
Coconut milk -1/2 cup
Oil- as required
Salt to taste

For rice

Basmati rice- 1.5 to 2 cups ( see notes)
Bay leaves- 2 small
Cloves- 3 nos
Cardamom – 3 nos
Cinnamon- 2″ piece
Salt to taste
Oil /Ghee- as required

For Garnishing

Onion sliced- 1/4 cup
Cashew nuts- 1 tbsp
Raisins- 1 tbsp
Garam masala- as required
Coriander and mint leaves- chopped- 1 tbsp each
Ghee-1/2 to 1  tsp

Method

To prepare rice.
Wash rice until water runs clear.Heat oil and ghee in a pan and add bay leaves,cloves,cardamom and cinnamon ,saute for few seconds and add the drained rice.Fry rice for 3 to 4 minutes,stirring continuously.
Add salt and water.Cover and cook until it is 3/4 th done.Drain and transfer it to a large tray and allow it to cool slightly.
To prepare Fish masala
Combine together all the ingredients listed under ‘for marination’ and rub it onto the fish slices.Keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the fish until 3/4 th done ,turning once in between.Transfer it onto a clean kitchen towel.
In the same pan ( add more oil if required) add onion,ginger,garlic and green chilies and saute till it turns golden brown.
Add kashmiri chili,turmeric,coriander,black pepper,garam masala and fennel powder along with 2 tbsp water.Mix well.Cook for 1 or 2 minutes or until  oil separates.
Add chopped tomato and cook for  5 to 6 minutes or until tomato is completely cooked and masala starts to leaves the sides of the pan.
Add coconut milk and salt to taste.Bring this to just under a boil and add the fried fish.Gently mix until the masala coats the fish.Cook for  2 to 3 minutes.
For Layering
Heat oil/ghee in a pan ,fry onion,cashew nuts and raisins separately until it turns golden brown.Keep aside.
Preheat oven to 180 Deg C.
Lightly grease  a baking pan with ghee.Arrange prepared rice and fish masala in layers.Sprinkle one pinch of garam masala , 1/8 tsp ghee,and few tsp of chopped coriander and mint leaves on each layer of rice.
Garnish with fried cashewnuts,raisins and onion.
Cover it with an aluminium foil and bake for 15 to 20  minutes.
( for stove top method,layer rice and fish masala in a greased heavy bottomed pan and cover it tightly.Heat a tava /dosa pan and place the biriyani vessel on top of the tava.Reduce the flame to low and cook for about 20 minutes.)

NOTES:
If you like more masala for the biriyani,use 1.5 cups rice  or use 2 cups rice for a milder version.(I get about 4 cups cooked rice from 1 cup rice)
You can use King fish,Pomfret  or any other firm fish

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