King Fish Biryani – South Indian Style

No Kidding! I love King fish biryani more than chicken or mutton biryani…

First, let’s talk a bit about King fish as it is quite unheard of in North America. King fish is a sea fish that is found in the Indian ocean and is very popular in Southern India. I personally think that it is the most tastiest fish. It is an expensive fish and is often served in many fine dining restaurants in India. So where do you buy this fish? You can find king fish in some of the Indian stores (call ahead to check – sometimes they can get it for you even if they don’t carry) and in Asian supermarkets. I prefer buying king fish from the Asian supermarkets as they have it fresh.

I grew up eating biryani, chicken/mutton biryani being often made by my mom. Once in a while, when she gets hold of fresh king fish, she would surprise us with king fish biryani. I prefer it as it’s light, healthy and I can go for a few rounds without getting the dizzy feeling.

I love fish fry and so while starting to make any fish dish my first thought would be to “fry it”. I always wish if I could find a way to fry the fish without using oil and still get the same taste. Grilling does help to some extent, but it just cannot replace frying. Good thing about this biryani is that I fried the fish first and then made the fish masala with it. So, I get to taste the fried fish along with the biryani.

If you haven’t yet tasted fish biryani, it’s big time you make this biryani and you’ll be surprised on how your taste buds go crazy.

King fish Biryani

Ingredients:

For marinating the fish:

  • King fish, steak- 2 pounds
  • Chili powder- 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 2 pinches
  • Fennel powder- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Ground Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice- 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Salt- to taste

For frying fish:

  • Oil- enough for frying

For making King fish masala:

  • Oil used for frying fish- 3 tbsp
  • Onion, large cut thin long- 4
  • Salt- little
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Tomato, chopped- 1 large
  • Chili powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel powder- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Yogurt (not sour)- 4 tbsp

To grind:

  • Garlic, chopped- 5 cloves
  • Ginger, chopped- 2 inch slice
  • Small onions- 7
  • Green chilies- 4
  • Whole Cardamom- 3
  • Cloves- 2
  • Cinnamon- 1 inch slice

For making rice:

  • Basmati rice- 2 cups
  • Ground Garam masala- 1 tsp
  • Ghee- 2 tbsp
  • Water- 3 1/2 cups
  • Salt- as needed

Other ingredients for garnishing:

  • Fried onions- 1 Onion, cut thin and long and fried in oil till golden brown.
  • Cilantro, chopped

Instruction

  • Wash the king fish steaks under running water, if you want you could cut the steak into medium sized pieces.
  • Marinate the king fish with the above mentioned ingredients for marination, keep aside for 15 minutes.
  • Shallow fry the fish in enough oil till it starts to turn golden in color. Avoid over frying the fish, Keep aside on a paper towel.
  • Place a large pan over medium heat, add 3 tbsp of oil used for frying fish.
  • Add onions along with curry leaves and little salt, cook covered till it turns tender.
  • Grind garlic, ginger, small onions, green chilies, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon together into a coarse paste.
  • When the onions turn tender, add the above ground paste, saute for a few minutes.
  • Onion should turn really tender and well cooked.
  • Add chopped tomato and cook till it gets mashed.
  • Add chili powder and fennel powder to it, combine well.
  • Add the fried fish to it and gently combine everything.
  • Now, add yogurt, combine well and cook covered for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and let all the water in the masala dries up.
  • Remove from the heat and keep aside covered.

Making Rice:

  • Wash the rice taken in a large sieve under running water.
  • Combine rice, garam masala, ghee, salt and water.
  • Cook in a rice cooker till the rice is well done.

How to layer the rice and fish masala:

  • In a large pan, spread half of the fish masala as the first layer.
  • Top it with half of the rice as the second layer.
  • Sprinkle chopped cilantro and fried onions.
  • Again repeat layering with fish masala, rice, finally top it with cilantro and fried onions.
  • Close the pan tightly with aluminum foil and then with its lid.
  • Place the pan on low flame and cook for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and keep aside covered.
  • While serving, combine the rice and fish masala together, serve on a plate along with raita and pickle.

Tips:

  • Adjust the spice level according to your needs, if you like it spicy increase the amount of chili powder or green chilies accordingly.
  • This biryani, in fact all biryanis taste better when it sits for sometime, it would taste even more better the next day.

 

King Fish Biryani - South Indian Style
 
Ingredients
For marinating the fish
  • King fish, steak- 2 pounds
  • Chili powder- 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 2 pinches
  • Fennel powder- 1½ tsp
  • Ground Garam masala- ½ tsp
  • Lemon juice- 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Salt- to taste
For frying fish
  • Oil- enough for frying
For making King fish masala
  • Oil used for frying fish- 3 tbsp
  • Onion, large cut thin long- 4
  • Salt- little
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Tomato, chopped- 1 large
  • Chili powder- ½ tsp
  • Fennel powder- 1½ tsp
  • Yogurt (not sour)- 4 tbsp
To grind
  • Garlic, chopped- 5 cloves
  • Ginger, chopped- 2 inch slice
  • Small onions- 7
  • Green chilies- 4
  • Cardamom- 3
  • Cloves- 2
  • Cinnamon- 1 inch slice
For making rice
  • Basmati rice- 2 cups
  • Ground Garam masala- 1 tsp
  • Ghee- 2 tbsp
  • Water- 3½ cups
  • Salt- as needed
Other ingredients for garnishing
  • Fried onions- 1 Onion, cut thin and long and fried in oil till golden brown.
  • Cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. Wash the king fish steaks under running water, if you want you could cut the steak into medium sized pieces.
  2. Marinate the king fish with the above mentioned ingredients for marination, keep aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Shallow fry the fish in enough oil till it starts to turn golden in color. Avoid over frying the fish, Keep aside on a paper towel.
  4. Place a large pan over medium heat, add 3 tbsp of oil used for frying fish.
  5. Add onions along with curry leaves and little salt, cook covered till it turns tender.
  6. Grind garlic, ginger, small onions, green chilies, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon together into a coarse paste.
  7. When the onions turn tender, add the above ground paste, saute for a few minutes.
  8. Onion should turn really tender and well cooked.
  9. Add chopped tomato and cook till it gets mashed.
  10. Add chili powder and fennel powder to it, combine well.
  11. Add the fried fish to it and gently combine everything.
  12. Now, add yogurt, combine well and cook covered for 5 minutes.
  13. Remove the lid and cook till the water in the masala dries up.
  14. Remove from the heat and keep aside covered.
  15. Wash the rice taken in a large sieve under running water.
  16. Combine rice, garam masala, ghee, salt and water.
  17. Cook in a rice cooker till the rice is well done.
  18. In a large pan, spread half of the fish masala as the first layer.
  19. Top it with half of the rice as the second layer.
  20. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and fried onions.
  21. Again repeat layering with fish masala, rice, finally top it with cilantro and fried onions.
  22. Close the pan tightly with aluminum foil and then with its lid.
  23. Place the pan on low flame and cook for 10 minutes.
  24. After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and keep aside covered.
  25. While serving, combine the rice and fish masala together, serve on a plate along with raita and pickle.
Notes
Adjust the spice level according to your needs, if you like it spicy increase the amount of chili powder or green chilies accordingly.
This biryani, in fact all biryanis taste better when it sits for sometime, it would taste even more better the next day.

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