Hyderabadi Fish Biryani, is a popular fish version of the famous “Hyderabadi Biryani”. A recipe, perfect for ‘Home cooking’!
This traditional Biryani is made using goat/ lamb meat but chicken, fish, shrimp or veggies are also used as a popular alternative ?
Biryani and it’s History
Biryani, is an Indian dish consisting of basmati rice, spices, meat or vegetables. Originating in Persia, it was brought to India by the Mughals and quickly spread throughout India.
Each state/ region in India is popular for it’s own version of biryani. Among them, Hyderabadi dum Biryani, is the most loved and famous. This authentic dish comprises of Basmati rice, meat/ vegetables, ghee (or butter), spices, yogurt and nuts.
Other Biryani recipes: Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani, Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani
What is Hyderabadi Cuisine?
Hyderabad is a metropolitan city in the South of India. It’s a capital city of an Indian state of Telangana.
An old Indian city, that was for a long time ruled by Qutub Shahi dynasty, Mughal Dynasty and lastly the Nizam dynasty.
Hence, the food here has Turkish, Mughal and Arabic influences. This is in combination with the regional influences of Telugu and Marathi cuisines.
Hyderabadi recipes on my blog: Hyderabadi Lukhmi, Bhagara Baigan, Hyderabadi Kheema Pulao
Hyderabadi Fish Biryani
This is my take on the traditional and authentic ‘Biryani’ recipe. When you hear the word ‘Biryani’, I bet you would drool over thoughts of rich, fragrant & flavorful Basmati rice with marinated & succulent pieces of goat/ lamb/ chicken.
Take 2 & this time I say, ‘Fish Biryani’! Well it’s the same recipe and technique of slow cooking (or ‘dum’) but swap the goat/ lamb/ chicken with Fish.
What happens when you cook fish (a delicate protein) and rice together?
I agree that a protein such as Fish takes around 5-7 minutes to cook on an average. But it isn’t difficult to layer it with half-cooked rice, whole spices, herbs and caramelized onions 🙂
Fish doesn’t require extensive marination. A quick 30 minutes marination and pan frying (2 minutes each side) is all it needs.
Which kind of Fish can be used?
You can use, Tilapia, Cod, Catfish or any Fresh water Fish. I generally use Tilapia or Catfish for my recipe.
Cooking in Real-Time
It basically involves 3 steps:
- Half-Cooking the rice with whole spices
- Marinating and Pan frying the Fish
- Layering Fish and rice (with herbs and seasonings) and cooking using ‘Dum’ technique.
In real-time I use an oven for slow cooking. Grease an Oven safe dish with ‘Ghee’ (or clarified butter) and layer Fish, Rice, Herbs (cilantro & mint), Caramelized onions, Nuts (almonds & cashews).
A perfect, healthy & cozy recipe for a weekend luncheon 😉 Wouldn’t you agree!
If you like the recipe or make Hyderabadi Fish Biryani, please be sure to leave a comment. Above all, I love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe and decide to post, please be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook!
Hyderabadi Fish Biryani
- 1 lb White fish I used Tilapia
- 2 tbsp plain yogurt or Homemade Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp Red chili powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Salt to taste
- 1 1/2 cup Basmati Rice
- 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
- 4-6 nos cloves
- 1/2 tsp cardamon seeds
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp black pepper corns
- 2 nos bay leaves
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice Freshly squeezed
- Salt to taste
- Water as required For cooking rice
- 2-3 tbsp Ghee for caramelizing onions
- 1 tbsp cooking oil for pan frying fish
- 1 Medium Red Onion sliced and caramelized
- 1 tsp saffron or 'kesar'
- 1/4 cup Almonds chopped/ sliced
- 1/4 cup Cashews chopped
- 3 tbsp Cilantro chopped
- 4 sprigs Mint chopped
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 nos Green chilis or Thai chilis or Jalapeños
Prepping & Marinating
- Measure, wash and soak basmati rice. Let it soak for 30 minutes before cooking.
- Cut Fish fillets into 3/4 inch or medium size pieces.
- In a medium sized bowl, beat yogurt to get a smooth consistency. Then add all ingredients for marination and mix well.
- Add the fish pieces to this marinade. Mix well so that the marinade coats fish well. Let it marinate for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a pan, heat ghee. Add sliced onions and fry until they turn golden brown or caramelized. Remove from pan and drain into a bounty to remove excess ghee.
- While the onions are caramelizing, wash, chop and keep aside cilantro & mint.
- Prep the nuts. If you'd like, you can add some raisins as well.
- Heat milk and saffron in a small bowl. For convenience, use a microwave. Else, heat milk in a small saucepan and add saffron. Bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Keep aside.
Cooking the fish
- 30 minutes into marination, pan fry fish pieces in the same pan that was used to caramelize onions. You can add a tbsp of cooking oil if desired or use left over ghee.
- Only pan fry the fish pieces. 2 minutes each side is good enough. Keep aside the marination gravy. This will be used later.
- In a large pot, bring around 5 cups of water to a boil. When the water is hot, add the spices listed under 'For Rice'. Get it to a boil and add rice.
- Gently stir with a spoon occasionally while the rice is cooking. Don't reduce the flame.
- Just when the rice is about 75% cooked (the rice grains should have a slight bite to them), drain the rice in a colander. Gently fluff and keep aside.
Layering & cooking
- While the rice is cooking, preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 360 degree Fahrenheit.
- Grease a thick bottom oven safe pan/ disposable aluminum tray with ghee or cooking oil.
- Let's begin layering. Layer half of pan fried fish and sprinkle half of chopped mint, cilantro and nuts. Next layer half of the 75% cooked rice.
- Sprinkle half of caramelized onions, green chili, saffron milk, almonds and cashew nuts.
- Layer the remaining pan fried fish.
- Layer the remaining rice and sprinkle the remaining fried onions, green chili, cilantro, mint, saffron milk, almonds and cashew nuts. Also add the left over marination gravy.
- You can make 2 layers of fish and rice or 4 layers. Or more than that (depends on the depth of the container and the quantity you are cooking). But the top most layer should always be that of rice.
- Seal the container with an aluminum foil. Bake the biryani for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Serve hot and delicately flavored biryani with 'Dahi Ki Chutney' and 'Mirchi Ka Salan'. Enjoy!
Thank You Very much its made my day. i really loved this recipe finally i am having Yummy biryani for the biryani lovers.
Aakruti Mahendra says
I am glad you liked the recipe.