Fish Briyani – Malabar Style


Already I have shared a fish briyani in tamilian style, this time another style. Not only elder’s even kids love this briyani a lot, because of less spiciness. This Briyani has a delicious taste, attractive colour and a good fragrance. I too loved this briyani a lot, not miss my hubby – a Briyani Maniac loved this a lot. I have used parrot fish commonly known as Pachai Elimeen in Tamil. The fish with less bones best suits this briyani. A very simple and easy recipe, do not get scared referring to the list of ingredients ;). Let us move on to the recipe…


  • Parrot Fish – 500 gm
  • Basmathi / Long grain Rice – 300 gm
  • Green chilies – 3 nos
  • Garlic – 5 cloves
  • Ginger – 1 “inch stick
  • Bay leaf – 2 nos
  • Star Anise – 3 nos
  • Cinnamon – 1 “inch stick – 2 nos
  • Cardamom – 4 nos
  • Cloves – 6 nos
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Chili powder – 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 4 tsp
  • Coriander leaves – a handful
  • Mint leaves – a handful
  • Ghee / Clarified butter – 2 tbsp
  • Fenugreek / Methi / Vendayam powder – ¼ tsp
  • Onions – 3 nos
  • Tomato – 1 ½ nos
  • Yogurt / Curd – ½ cup
  • Cashew nuts – 10 nos
  • Coconut (grated) – 2 tbsp
  • Poppy seeds – 2 tsp
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste


  • Clean and cut the fish into medium pieces. Wash and clean the rice, drain the water and keep it aside.
  • Take ½ tsp of turmeric powder, chili powder, 2 tsp of coriander powder, fenugreek (methi/Vendayam) powder, salt and little oil in a wide mouth bowl. Mix it well by sprinkling little water, no lumps should be formed.
  • Marinate the fish pieces in this masala for an hour. Peel and chop the onions into fine pieces. Chop the tomatoes, coriander leaves and mint leaves to fine pieces.
  • Grind green chilies, garlic and ginger to fine paste by sprinkling water.
  • Soak 6 nos of cashewnut in water for 10 mins, drain the water and blend it to fine paste with grated coconut and poppy seeds to a fine paste.
  • In a wide bottomed vessel, bring the water to boil, add in a bay leaf, 2 star anise, 4 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, and 2 cardamoms. Cover with the lid.
  • Add in the rice to the boiling water and let it get 75 % cooked, drain the water and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a griddle and shallow fry the fish, it should be 75 % fired. Remove it to the plate and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil and ghee/clarified butter in another vessel, add in all the leftover spices, and wait until it crackle.
  • Add in the coriander and mint leaves, cook until they turn dark green in color.
  • Add in the onions along with green chilies paste and cook until the onion turns golden brown.
  • Add in the turmeric powder, cumin powder along with salt and cook until the raw smell leaves off.
  • Add in the tomatoes and cook until they turn mushy.
  • Pour in the curd and cook for 5 mins.
  • Pour in the ground cashew paste along with 2 cups of water, cover and cook until the raw smell goes off.
  • Add in the fish pieces gently, cover and cook for few mins until the oil separates and floats on the sides.
  • Take a heavy bottomed wide mouth vessel, spread the steamed rice like a bed.
  • Pour the gravy along with fish pieces over the rice.
  • Again spread the rice over the gravy and fish pieces.
  • Again pour the gravy along with fish pieces.
  • Again spread the steamed rice over the gravy. Sprinkle ½ cup of water over the rice.
  • Cover it tightly with a lid or cover with the lid and place heavy weight over the lid, so that the steam should not escape.
  • Keep in medium flame for 10 mins.
  • Remove the lid and give a stir gently, be sure that the fish pieces should not be broken.
  • Deep fry the leftover cashew nuts and top it over the briyani.

Serve hot with Onion-Tomato Raita. I have accompanied this with yogurt and fish fritters.

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