Malabar Meen Biryani ( Malabar Style Fish Biryani)

"Biryani with fish?" many ask me and I wonder if fish biryanis aren't made elsewhere? In fact Fish biryanis are great treat for non- sea food lovers like me. Maybe it is the choice of fish and the spices it is cooked with, the biryani does not taste of fish at all. I admit we do not make this biryani as often as we make mutton and chicken biryani but when we get an awesome deal on pomfret or king fish and we have guests who love sea food, I try this recipe.

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Teena Augustine's Secret Indian Recipe !
Serves: 
12

Preparation Time: 
1 HR 30 Min
Cooking Time: 
2 Hr

Complexity: 
Difficult


Ingredients: 
Kingfish- 450 g
Kashmiri chili powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste
Lemon juice- 1 lemon
Pepper powder- 1 tsp
Oil- for frying the fish
Sliced onions- 2
Minced ginger garlic paste- 3 tsp
Salt- to taste
Tomatoes- 4
Curry leaves-3 sprig
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Chili powder- 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder- 1/4 tsp
Coconut milk- 1/2 cup
Basmati rice- 2 cups
Water- 4 cups
Whole Spices (cardamom, cloves, pepper, bay leaf) - 3 piece each
Cinnamon- 1 inch piece
Salt- to taste
Ghee- 3 tsp
Sliced onions- 4
Cashew nuts- 2 tbsp
Raisins- 2 tbsp
Chopped coriander- 1 bunch
Ghee- 3 tsp
Directions: 
This biryani is divided into four parts cooking the rice, frying the fish, preparing the masala and assembling the biryani.
To prepare the rice, wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes in 2 cups of water.
Saute all the whole spices mentioned above in 3 tsp ghee for 3 minutes and then add the rice and fry the rice for 5 minutes. Keep stirring while frying the rice.
Cook the rice with 4 cups of water till it is half cooked. Drain the rice in a colander and add cold water to stop it from cooking further.
Marinate the fish with kashmiri chili powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder, salt and lemon juice. Leave the marinated fish for 30- 40 minutes and shallow fry it later.
Once the fish has been fried it is time to prepare the masala for the biryani.
In the same oil used for frying the fish saute the onions followed by ginger garlic paste. Add the spice powders (chili, turmeric, coriander, garam and fennel) when the garlic and ginger browns.
Add the chopped tomatoes and salt after the powders have been sauted well enough to abate the raw smell of the powders.
Add coconut milk to this masala and bring the masala to a boil. Now add the fried fish and cook over low flame for 4 minutes.
Heat the pan for assembling the biryani and add 1 tsp ghee. Fry the nuts and raisins in this ghee and drain them. Now add remaining 2 tsp ghee and fry the onions till they brown.
Set the fried onions aside. Now start assembling the biryani by layering rice first, followed by fish masala, and then fried onions, cashews and raisins topped with chopped coriander leaves.
Repeat this in cycles till the rice and fish masala gets over. Heat a tawa and place the biryani vessel on top of it. Cook the biryani covered with a lid over low flame for 10-20 minutes till the rice is cooked completely.
Cook the biryani covered with a lid over low flame for 10-20 minutes till the rice is cooked completely. Serve with raita, pickle and papad.
Footnotes: 
After assembling the biryani you can also cook it by baking it in the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.