Kerala Fish Biriyani

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Stage 1: For frying the Fish

6 tbsp Vegetable oil

300 gm Fish (Steak pieces)

1 tbsp Cumin (Jeera) powder

1 tbsp Coriander powder

1 tbsp Garam Masala powder

1 tbsp Salt


Stage 2: For the Masala

2 tbsp Vegetable oil

2 Bay leaves

3 Cloves

1 Star Anise

1 stick Cinnamon

3 Cardamom pods (lightly crushed)

3/4 cups Onion (chopped)

3/4 cup Coriander leaves (chopped)

1/2 cup Mint leaves (chopped)

1 tbsp Coriander powder

3 tsp Cumin (Jeera) powder

3 tsp Black pepper powder

2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste

1.5 cups Water


Stage 3: For the Rice

1.5 cups Jeerakasala rice

3 cups Water

Salt to Taste


Stage 4: For Garnish

4 tbsp Vegetable Oil

3/4 cup Onion (sliced- long and thin)

30 gm Cashew nuts (halved or broken)


Stage 5: Combining

1 cup Water



Kerala biriyani is a stage by stage process. Please use the ingredients in each stage for the  corresponding steps provided for the stage.

Stage 1

  1. In a bowl, mix the spice masala powders and salt together
  2. Wash and pat the fish pieces dry. Ensure to cut down to the sizes you prefer. For just one piece, cut it down to a 1 inch cube size. We will use this piece once fried as an addition to our masala in Stage 2
  3. Place the fish into the bowl, changing sides, so as to coat the surface with the dry spice and salt mix evenly
  4. In a flat large pan heat the oil almost smoking
  5. Place the fish pieces into the pan carefully
  6. Fry each side for 5-7 minutes until it has a crisp crust
  7. Remove from heat and set aside and reserve any remaining oil

Stage 2

  1. In a large vessel heat the oil and add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom and star anise and fry until fragrant
  2. Add the chopped onion to this and fry until golden
  3. Mix in the spice masala powders and saute for 2-3 minutes
  4. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook until well done and the masala starts to dry up
  5. Add the one inch cube fried fish piece from Stage 1 to this and mash up thoroughly while mixing into the masala
  6. Pour in quarter a cup of water at a time when the masala dries up to incorporate the caramelized masala mixture
  7. Continue doing this until the last quarter cup of water has almost dried up. Set the vessel aside at this point

Stage 3

  1. Cook the rice in a closed pot with the salt and water
  2. Turn the heat off when almost all of the water has evaporated

Stage 4

  1. In a large pan, bring the oil to almost smoking heat
  2. Add in the chopped onions and fry until golden brown
  3. Remove the onions and add in the cashews
  4. Fry the cashews until golden
  5. Remove from the heat and reserve the oil

Stage 5

  1. Bring the large vessel with the masala mix (from Stage 2) back on low heat
  2. Spread the masala mix as evenly as possible at the base of it
  3. Add half of the cooked rice on top of this evenly
  4. Place the fish pieces on top of this rice
  5. Mix the remaining rice with the reserved oil from Stage 1 and 4 (Based on preference you can reduce the quantity of oil you mix in)
  6. Spread this rice evenly on top of the fish pieces
  7. Evenly spread the fried onions and cashews on top of the rice
  8. Sprinkle half cup of water on this
  9. Close with a tight fitting lid and cook for 5-7 minutes
  10. Now sprinkle the other half cup of water and close and cook for another 5-7 minutes


Serve hot.

When Serving, you could choose to mix the whole thing up or you could serve by ensuring that all layers upto the bottom get picked in a single serve

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