Kerala style spicy fish biryani is a traditional dish from Kerala, a state in India that is famous for its cuisine. The dish is rich in spices and is quite spicy, so it is best eaten with a mild curry or some yogurt. This version of the biryani comes as a big bowl, making it a good option for a large family or group of friends.

The dish is a very famous dish in Kerala cuisine and is believed to have originate from the Portugese settlement in Kerala. Now this dish can be prepared in various ways but the original fish biryani is very creamy and hot spicy. Fish biryani can be prepared using any fish or any fish mixture and Kerala style fish biryani is mainly prepared using pomfret. So today I am going to share a simple yet delicious method of making the Kerala style fish biryani.

To add to the excitement of any food, everyone loves to dip their finger in the dish and taste the dish. But this practice might spoil the taste of the dish. The good thing is that you can add flavor by adding a few drops of your favorite flavoring such as pepper, chilli, etc. This can help enhance the flavor of the dish, without changing the taste.

Everyone’s favorite meal, much like mutton or chicken Biryani, is fish Biryani. Kerala style Fish Biryani is close to what we make at home, however there are a few differences. In Kerala, everyone cooks Biryani according to their own recipe and preferences. I used basic spices that are readily accessible in your kitchen cabinet to make this Kerala biryani. I didn’t use yoghurt/curd in my biryani, and I used basic garnishes like cashew nuts and raisins, but the biryani turned out spicy and wonderful. Use the same oil that the fish is cooked in to give the fish biryani additional flavor. In Kerala, most of my friends’ houses do not use yoghurt, saffron color, or basmati rice while cooking biryani; instead, their biryani is light brown in color and the rice used is regular Kerala rice (jeerakasala or jeerasala). My next-door neighbor used to prepare fish biryani and coconut-oil-fried chicken, which she served with any pickle and raitha. I’ve said in every recipe that whether you want your Biryani hot or mild is entirely up to you.

It is entirely up to you how much oil or ghee to use; I am just providing you with delicious cuisine that I like. My Malabar biryani, which is wonderful and flavorful, is a good example. You may use king fish, koduva (tamil), sea bass, tilapia, pompfret, or any firm fish you want for fish Biryani. You may also use boneless fish chunks; I chose king fish since it just has one bone. Use thicker fish slices instead of tiny ones, since they are more likely to shatter. I tweaked it somewhat by using saffron (kesar or biryani color), basmati rice, and cooking it to my liking.


    • 3/4 cup or more of oil
    • 500 gms King Fish


    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • if necessary, salt

For rice

    • 600 gms rice
    • 2 tbsp mint and coriander leaves
    • 3 tblsp. cloves
    • 4 tsp. cardamom
    • 2 cinnamon sticks (2 inch lengths)
    • – 1 bay leaf
    • if necessary, salt
    • Water (as needed)

Curry sauce/fish

    • Cloves (about 5 cloves)
    • 4 tsp. cardamom
    • 3 cinnamon sticks (1 inch chunks)
    • 2 bay leaves (big)
    • 350 gms onion
    • 300 gms tomato
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 3 tsp coriander powder
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1 tsp garam masala
    • 30 gms or less of mint
    • 25 gms or less coriander
    • 5 or more green chilies (slit)
    • if necessary, salt
    • 1 cup (or more) of water


  • a pinch of lime color
  • Pinch of kesar or saffron color
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp ghee (optional)


    • Tomatoes, mint, and coriander leaves should be chopped. Keep it on hand.
    • Prepare the onions by slicing them and keeping them ready.


    • Refrigerate the salmon for 4 to overnight after marinating it with all of the marinade ingredients, including salt to taste.

Fry the fish

    • Remove the marinated fish from the refrigerator half an hour before cooking.
    • Cook the fish curry/gravy in the same pot (large enough to make Biryani) that you fried the fish in.
    • When the oil is heated, add the fish pieces one at a time and lightly fried them. Set it aside for now. Fry the fish on medium heat and don’t flip it right away.
    • Each side should only be fried for 2 to 3 minutes or until a brown color appears, since the fish must also be cooked in the sauce, so do not overcook it. My fish was hefty and medium in size. Remove and set aside all of the fish pieces after they have been thoroughly fried on both sides. Frying the fish in batches is a good idea. They should be turned with care since they are easily broken.
    • Apart from being utilized in the Biryani, this fried fish may be served as an appetizer or side dish.


    • In the same pot where the fish was cooked, make the gravy. The goal is to incorporate as much fish flavor as possible into the gravy; as you can see, the oil color has changed.
    • Stir in the entire spices for approximately 3 seconds.
    • Fry the onions until they are crisp and golden in color. It will take between 10 and 12 minutes. Close the cover and start cooking.
    • When the onions are fully cooked, remove all except a few for garnishing and use the remaining 3/4th for curry/gravy, if any are left.
    • Add ginger and garlic paste to the same pot and oil, sauté for 2 minutes, then add chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, mint, and coriander leaves, and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
    • Add the tomatoes, stir well, and cook for 3 minutes before adding the fried onions (keep few for garnishing).
    • Add a third cup of water and simmer until the tomatoes are mushy, then cover and continue to cook, stirring well in between.
    • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture resembles a curry, is thick, and oil begins to float to the top.
    • Close the cover and cook the fried fish for 12 to 15 minutes on a low heat, making sure the fish is thoroughly coated in the curry/sauce.
    • If it’s too thick, add approximately 1/3 cup of water.
    • The gravy has reached a nice consistency, as shown by the oil on top. It should have a consistency that allows it to be mixed with rice.
    • Take the fish pieces and set them aside with a little gravy.
    • Taste to determine if you need more spice or salt, then adjust as needed.
    • Meanwhile, prepare the rice and set it aside, or prepare it ahead of time.

preparing rice

    • When the gravy is nearly done, cook the rice for approximately 3/4 of a minute and set it aside.
    • You may also prepare the rice ahead of time.
    • Boil the rice, along with the other ingredients, in the quantity of water specified. Strain it when it’s 3/4 done and set it aside. If you wish, you may rinse with cold water. Don’t stir the rice too much while it’s cooking. The grains may be shattered as a result of this. Toss in the necessary quantity of salt.
    • The entire spices have been applied. It’s a choice. You may use a little oil to keep the grains from sticking together while they’re cooking.


    • Before you begin stacking, remove some gravy and rice.
    • In the same pot where the fish curry/gravy is cooking, add the rice to the gravy. Spread the rice evenly and save some for stacking later.
    • Add the fish, fried onions, lemon juice, and a few mint and coriander leaves, along with some color water. Distribute evenly.
    • Pour the remaining gravy on top, followed by all of the rice. Color, fried onions, mint and coriander leaves, leftover lemon juice, and color water (biryani color) should all be equally distributed. To improve the flavor and add additional taste to your fish biryani, sprinkle some ghee on top.

a dreadful procedure

  • Shut it with aluminum foil first, then firmly close the lid (can stick the wheat dough, see mutton dum Biryani with nuts) and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is done.
  • When the rice is cooked and a fragrance emanates from the cover, the Biryani is ready.
  • Allow the Biryani to rest for 10 to 15 minutes after turning off the stove. You may also serve right away if you like.
  • With a large spoon, open the lid and remove the Biryani.
  • When combining, you must use caution. From one side, gently mix it from the bottom to the top. After that, cover all sides.
  • You can smell the entire flavor and fragrance of the biryani as soon as you open the top.
  • This biryani is flavorful and spicy. It complements raitha or brinjal curry nicely.


  • Garnish with a few cashew nuts and raisins fried in ghee (clarified butter). My Malabar fish biryani and other biryani may be found here.
  • The rice will not burn if the bottom of your utensil is thick.
  • Roasting may be done effectively with the hefty aluminum utensils.
  • If the pan is non-stick, use just a wooden spoon to mix the spices.
  • To prevent rice from burning when providing dum or simmering, place a flat tava underneath the pot and simmer it.
  • If you don’t like spicy cuisine or your chilies are extremely hot, you can cut down on the chillies.
  • Rice should only be cooked 3/4 of the way; the grain may have grown longer than normal, but when squeezed in the thumb, it is still raw.
  • You may add a few drops of oil or butter to the rice while it’s cooking.


Kerala style fish biryani is a vegetarian dish which is a tasty treat for people who love spicy food. It is a dish made of rice and fish. Fish can be added with any white fish like salmon, pomfret, or trout. The fish must be very fresh and raw. It should be fried and soaked in a masala made of ginger, garlic, red chilly, coriander leaves, and turmeric powder.. Read more about fish pulao kerala style and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Make fish biriyani in kerala style?

You can make fish biriyani in Kerala style by cooking the rice with a lot of ghee.

Is Kerala a biryani?

No, Kerala is not a biryani.

What is Kerala biryani?

Kerala biryani is a dish made with rice and spices, typically served with chicken or lamb.