Fish Biriyani

It's very ambitious to make a biriyani mid week, but if you get organized and have at least 2 hours it's entirely possible. I used tilapia, thanks to the giant package my husband picked up from Costco, but I'm sure something like Basa or King fish would add way more flavor. Like any famous dish, there are a million ways to cook it. I myself make it differently based on my mood and time available. The basic principle of a good biriyani is cooking the rice till it's half done and layering the rice and gravy and continuing to cook it with the steam if the gravy. Biriyani is eaten with a yogurt Raita, papas and/or a good pickle.

2 cups basmati rice soaked for a half hr in water and then washed.
1 pound tilapia cut in 1x1 inch pieces
2 potatoes sliced thick
2 red onions sliced
2 tbsps Ginger garlic paste
Juice of a lemon
2 tbsps biriyani masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp green chili paste
1 tsp ghee
Whole spices: 3 cloves, 3 cardamoms, star anise, cinnamon stick
2 ripe tomatoes chopped very fine.
Yellow food colouring
Coriander for garnish

Soak the rice for a minimum half hr and wash it. You must remove all the starch.

Marinate the fish with lemon juice, salt, pepper, biriyani spice and Ginger garlic paste.

Heat some oil in a saute pan, and fry the potatoes. Keep aside on some paper towels. In the same hot oil fry the onions till dark brown. Keep aside. Sear the fish very carefully. It will crumble, but try to keep it at a minimum. When the fish is seared on all sides, add 3/4 of the onions, any remaining marinade, tomatoes, turmeric salt and ground pepper. Cover with lid and cook for 2-3 mins till the tomatoes are cooked. Add green chilli paste and stir gently. add the potatoes over the top, drizzle with gravy, cover and cook for another minute.

In a separate saucepan or casserole heat the ghee and add the whole spices. In less than 30 secs add 4 cups of water, add some salt and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover and cook till half done. Drain the water.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an oven proof dish layer the following
1. Fish gravy
2. Rice
3. Fish gravy with potatoes
4. Thin layer of rice. Sprinkle food coloring over the top.
5. Add the rest of the browned onions.

Cover with foil, add a heavy lid and cook in the oven for 30-45 mins. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.

1 comment: