I am a big fish lover but I avoid eating fish in the winter as I find it less palatable. But this is not the case with the fish biryani I am going to share with you today. Malabar fish biryani is one of my favorite dishes. It is prepared with a combination of fish and rice and it is light and delicious.

The Malabar fish biryani is a popular Malay dish prepared using rice and fish. It is also known as the Fish Biryani. You can find this dish in Kerala as well as in the Malabar City of Kochi, which is a city in the Indian State of Kerala.

Malabar fish biryani is a seafood recipe produced by the coastal people of Kerala state and is a popular dish amongst the fish lovers. It has its origins in Kerala and Malabar region and is the most popular dish in the regions as a few people have mastered its art to such an extent that they even produce malabar fish biryani commercially.

Everyone’s favorite meal, much like mutton or chicken Biryani, is fish Biryani. Malabar Fish Biryani is close to what we make at home, although there are a few differences. They utilize coconut milk (optional), raisins, and cashew nuts in Malabar muslim biryani, which our neighbor shared with us while we were in Coimbatore, and they served with pickle and raitha. Garnishings included raisins, fried onions, and cashew nuts. I used the same ingredients except for the coconut milk, which some people use and some don’t. Everyone in Malabar (Kerala) prepares Biryani according to their own recipe and preferences. In Kerala, most of my friends’ houses do not use even saffron color or basmati rice while cooking biryani; instead, their biryani is light brown in color and the rice used is regular Keralan rice. 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. If you prefer a mild fish Biryani, adjust the spices accordingly. If you don’t have any spices on hand, simply add what you do have and you’ll get a fresh flavor.

I attempted to describe how to make chicken and mutton Biryani in my previous Biryani recipes. You may also make seafood Biryani using those recipes. However, while preparing fish Biryani, you must exercise extreme caution since fish is very sensitive. It is entirely up to you how much oil or ghee to use; I am just providing you with delicious cuisine that I like.

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 pieces, but I used fish steak and king fish, which has just one bone. Use thicker fish slices instead of tiny ones, since they are more likely to shatter. I tweaked the recipe somewhat by using saffron, basmati rice, and cooking it to my liking.


    • 600 gms king fish or any firm fish


    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon pepper powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • season with salt to taste


    • 1/2 cup of oil
    • 3 bay leaves
    • Cloves (about 5 cloves)
    • 5 green cardamoms
    • 3 cinnamon sticks (1 inch in diameter)
    • 4 medium-sized sliced onions
    • 3 medium-sized chopped tomatoes
    • 1 cup of mint
    • 3/4 cup coriander leaves
    • 2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 3 tsp coriander powder
    • 1 cup of curd
    • 4 green chillies, slit
    • 2 cups water


    • 500 gms. basmati rice
    • As needed, water
    • 3 tblsp. cloves
    • 2 green cardamoms
    • Add salt as needed.


    • Onions fried
    • a couple mint leaves
    • a few coriander leaves
    • a dash of saffron or biryani colour
    • 3 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp. ghee
    • 20 fried cashew nuts
    • 2 tbsp fried raisins

Raitha is a character in the film Raitha (yoghurt mixture)

  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 1 tblsp. tomato (chopped)
  • a few coriander leaves (chopped)
  • 2 green peppers (sliced or diced)
  • season with salt to taste
  • 1 cup of curd
  • As needed, water



    • 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.
    • Use the same pot (large enough to make Biryani) that you used to sear the fish in to make the gravy.
    • When the oil is heated, add the fish pieces one at a time and lightly fried them.
    • Fry the fish on medium heat and don’t flip it right away. If necessary, sprinkle in some extra oil.
    • 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 fat and large 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 tender and golden. It will take between 10 and 12 minutes. Close the cover and start cooking.
    • When the onions are done, set aside 1/4 of them for garnishing and use the remaining 3/4 for gravy.
    • Stir in the ginger and garlic paste with the fried onions for a few seconds.
    • Add the mint and coriander leaves and simmer for 2 minutes before adding the tomatoes and cooking for 3 minutes.
    • Stir in the chili powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder, and cook for a few minutes, or until the tomatoes are mushy.
    • Add the curd and water, stir well, cover, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the gravy is cooked and begins to leave oil.
    • Simmer the flame, then add the salt, fish pieces, and green chilies, making sure the fish pieces are fully submerged and covered in gravy. If it’s too thick, add approximately 1/3 cup of water.
    • Close the cover and simmer on medium heat for a few minutes, or until you reach a gravy consistency. It will take about 12 minutes.
    • 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.

preparing rice

    • When the gravy is nearly done, cook the rice for approximately 3/4 of the time 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.
    • Fry the cashew nuts and raisins till golden brown in oil or ghee (clarified butter) and set aside.


    • Toss in the rice with the gravy. Spread the rice evenly and save some for stacking later.
    • Combine the fish, fried onions, and a few mint and coriander leaves in a bowl. Arrange it in a uniform manner.
    • Pour the remaining gravy on top, followed by all of the rice. Color, fried onions, mint and coriander leaves, lemon juice, and color water (biryani color) should all be equally distributed.

Cooking and blending

    • Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is done (may stick the wheat dough, refer to mutton dum Biryani with nuts).
    • 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.
    • I served it with raitha and fried fish.
    • The mix of raisins and fried cashew nuts gives the spicy Biryani a sweet flavor.


  • In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients, along with the salt.
  • Mix with your hands, gently crushing the chilies, onion, and tomato so that their juices are evenly distributed.
  • Mix in the curd well.
  • If necessary, add a bit more water or curd.
  • For sourness, 1 tsp lemon juice may be used.


  • 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 3/4 cooked; the grain may have grown longer than normal, but when squeezed in the thumb, it is still raw.
  • While cooking the rice, a few drops of oil or vinegar may be added, and after draining, the rice should be washed under cold water to keep the grains distinct.
  • You may either cook the fish in the tava or deep fried it and then add it to the sauce, depending on your preference.
  • When you mix the rice and gravy together, the amount of sauce should be adequate to cover the rice.
  • It’s entirely up to you whether you want to decrease the amount of oil used, and then lower it more. However, the onion must be thoroughly cooked in oil or ghee.
  • Add salt to the gravy and rice with care. It will be simple for you to divide the salt amount and place it.
  • When I crush 300 grams of ginger and 300 grams of garlic paste, I use entire spices. See my recipe for ginger and garlic paste.
  • For a variation, try adding aloo bhukhara (dry prunes), potatoes, and dill leaves (soya leaves).
  • I used as much water as I needed for this gravy, but don’t use too much.
  • Put the color (kesar) over the rice after mixing it with 2 tbsp of water or milk. Saffron may be used as a substitute for color or simply sprinkled over biryani.
  • When making biryani, always use the same quantity of fish and rice, or 1kg fish for 500 to 700g rice, but it doesn’t matter whether the rice is more or the meat is less.


Malabar fish biryani is one of my favorite. A great way to relish fall.. Read more about shan fish biryani recipe and let us know what you think.