Fish Dum Biriyani.

Fish Biriyani Recipe / Fish Dum Biriyani / How to Make Fish Biriyani / Spicy Fish Biriyani

Fish Biriyani Recipe / Fish Dum Biriyani / How to Make Fish Biriyani / Spicy Fish Biriyani.

Hi all, A very Happy Christmas to you.. 

I was so  confused on what to post for this Christmas and suddenly this Fish Biriyani came across my mind. The smell that came while cooking this biriyani was really wonderful and it tasted perfect. You will definitely love how well the fish blends with the flavorful masala and rice. Hope you will enjoy making this.

Biriyani is traditionally associated with Mughals, Arabs and Hyderabadi cuisine. Biriyanis can be made with chicken, mutton, beef, prawns, pork, egg, fish, dal, soya or mixed vegetables etc. Chicken and Mutton are the most commonly used meat for making biriyani. Biryani has a stronger taste of spices. It comprises two layers of rice with a layer of meat (or vegetables) with its masala in the middle. Here fragrant long-grained rice is layered with meat or vegetables that have been cooked in a mixture of spices. This dish may be served with Yogurt, Raitha, Pickle and Pappad..

Today I am presenting before you the ‘Dum Fish Biriyani’.

The style dum cooking is also known as Dum pukht. Dum means ‘breath in’ and ‘pukth’ meaning ‘cook’. Here, we are letting the dish to breath in its own aroma and juices, which makes the dish more flavourful. Sealing the pot with dough allows the steam to stay in and left to slow cook for hours without excessive spices. It makes the fish or meat and rice tender. This method dum cooking proved to be the most convenient method to cook for a large number of people. Such long and slow enclosed cooking results in the permeation of the flavour of all the ingredients used in the dish.

Ghee plays a vital role for getting the authentic taste to the dish. If you are health conscious, use coconut oil for frying fish and making fish masala. Use Ghee for layering the dum biriyani.

Though it`s a bit long process, everyone would definitely enjoy it and it would be a signature dish of your family.. 

You can cook Fish Biriyani by another method on stove top itself and not the ‘oven method’. Take a big pot and pour in some water, now put the biryani pot into the big pot (make sure that the biryani pot does not touch the bottom of the big pot). The water needs to touch the biryani pot and make sure the biryani pot is well sealed and has a tight cover. Cook on medium-to-high heat for 30 minutes. Make sure that there is enough water in the pot where you kept the biriyani pot. This will prevent the biryani from burning at the bottom and yet cook it.

If you would like to try your hands at Biriyani, here are some Biriyani recipes from this blog, Seenas Food Basket. They are sure to be a big hit with your friends and family. Hope you would like these Chicken Biriyani, Tuna Fish Biriyani and Chana Dal Dum Biriyani.

So let’s go for the Dum Fish Biriyani..

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 430 / 1 serving

Ingredients for Dum Fish Biriyani:

For Rice:

Basmati Rice – 2 ½ cups
Water – 4 cups (boiled)
Bay leaves – 2 (small, optional)
Cardamom pods – 4
Cloves – 4
Cinnamon stick – 1 (1 ½? piece)
Onion / Savala – 2 small (sliced)
Lemon juice – 1 ½ tbsp.
Salt – to taste

For Marinating Fish:

Fish Fillets – ½ kg (weighed 524 grams)
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp.
Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp.
Coriander Powder : 1 tsp.
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp.
Fennel seed powder – ½ tsp.
Lime juice – ½ tsp.
Salt – to taste
Ghee/Oil – for frying

For Fish Masala:

Onion – 3 (medium, thinly sliced)
Tomato – 2 (medium, chopped)
Green chillies – 7 (medium, slit)
Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tbsp.
Yogurt – ½ cup (I have used homemade)
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tbsp.
Coriander powder – 1 ½ tbsp.
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp.
Biriyani Masala – 1 tbsp.
Mint leaves – ¼ cup (chopped)
Coriander Leaves / Cilantro – ½ cup (chopped)
Lime juice – 1 ½ tsp.
Ghee /Oil – 2 tbsp.

For Garnishing:

Ghee – 2 tbsp.
Cashew nuts – 2 tbsp.
Raisins – 2 tbsp.
Onion – 1 cup (thinly sliced)
Coriander leaves – ½ cup
Mint Leaves – (optional)
Saffron – 5 strands
Warm milk – 2 tsp.
Coloured Rice – 1 tbsp. (optional)

How to Make Fish Biriyani:

Preparation: Wash the fish fillets in running water along with salt and turmeric. Drain it. Peel, wash and slice tomatoes, onion and green chilli. Make green chilli paste. Keep it aside. Make Ginger Garlic Paste. Chop Coriander Leaves and Mint leaves. Grease a big cooking pot with butter or ghee and keep it aside.

Marinating Fish: Take a big bowl and add in half of Homemade Ginger Garlic PasteRed Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, Fish Biriyani Masala (homemade or store bought), Lemon Juice and Salt. Combine well. Apply this over the fish fillets thoroughly and marinate the fish in the refrigerator minimum for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse Basmati Rice twice under running water and soak it in water for 30 minutes, drain out the water well. Keep everything aside.

Cook Rice: Add 1 tbsp. of Ghee in a wide pot. Once hot, crackle the Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom and Bay Leaves. Next add in the sliced Onion and sauté it for 10 to 20 seconds until aroma arrives. Then pour water and add required Salt for the rice. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the soaked and drained Rice. Add Salt and Lemon Juice to this. Cook the rice for 8 to 10 minutes uncovered or until ¾ th done. Add little Coriander Leaves and Mint Leaves. Turn off the heat and strain out the water from the rice. Then spread the rice in a tray. Let it cool down.

Shallow frying Fish: Heat Coconut Oil / Ghee in a pan and shallow fry until golden brown on both sides by flipping both the sides. Drain the oil in a paper towel and keep it aside.

Cook Fish Masala: In the same pan, sauté Onion until it turns translucent. Add in the Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste, Green Chilli Paste, Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste and Tomatoes. Sauté for few seconds or until it turns mushy completely. Add in the chopped Coriander Leaves and Mint leaves and combine well. Add Yogurt and give it a mix. Add Salt and Lemon Juice. Mix well. Next add the shallow fried fish.

Next add in half of the rest Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, Fish Biriyani Masala and little Salt. Sauté well until raw smell is gone. Reduce the heat and add in Yogurt / Curd and combine well until the mixture thickens. Set this aside when it is done, do not leave it on the stove as the gravy gets cooked further and the quantity reduces. Add the fried Fish and combine gently. Cover and cook on low flame for about 5 mins and wait till oil starts to separate. Add little salt if needed.

For Garnishing: Chop the onions into long thin slices. In a pan, add enough Oil / Ghee for frying (I have used Ghee). Once hot, add the thinly sliced Onion and fry till dark brown (caramelisation of onion). Keep it aside. In the same pan add in the Cashew Nuts and sauté till golden colour. Remove it to a paper towel. Next, in the same pan add in the Raisins and sauté till it pops up. Remove Raisins to the paper towel. Add few Saffron strands in warm Milk and set aside. Chop the Mint Leaves and Coriander Leaves and set aside.

Layering the Fish Biriyani: Form at least 2 sets of layers (rice-fish-rice-fish-rice).

Take a deep bottom pan, pour 1 tbsp. Ghee and grease the whole pot. Add half of the cooked rice in the bottom of the pan as the first layer. Add little Fish marinade. Sprinkle little caramelised Onion, Cashew Nuts, and Raisins, 1 tbsp. Ghee, little Coriander Leaves, Mint Leaves and Coloured cooked Rice as the second layer.

Again repeat the layering with little cooked rice and spread evenly. Add the remaining fish pieces and its masala on top of the rice layer. Sprinkle over the rest of the caramelised onion, cashew nuts, raisins, 1 tbsp. ghee, mint leaves, coriander leaves and coloured cooked rice. Pour a tbsp. of Saffron Milk on top. Now make a final layer with the rest of the rice, mint and coriander leaves, saffron milk and Ghee.

Dum Cooking: Make a dough of the whole wheat flour and water and seal the pot by pressing this dough over the joint of the pot’s rim and its lid.
Heat a tawa (I have used my old chappathi tawa) until hot. Place the Biriyani pot on the tawa and let it cook on medium flame for a minute and then reduce it to low flame and cook for about 20 minutes. Once the biriyani is cooked, allow it to rest for about 15 minutes.

Serving the Fish Biriyani:

Open the lid and slowly remove the dough from its rim. Garnish with fried onions, cashews, raisins, coriander leaves and mint leaves. Serve the Fish Dum Biriyani with Pappad, Onion , Cucumber and Tomato Raitha, Cucumber, Avocado and Tomato Salad and Mango Pickle/Nadan Manga Achar in a large serving dish.
Enjoy!! Happy cooking and Merry Christmas in advance..

My Recipe Notes on Dum Fish Biriyani:

1. Wash fish fillets with salt to avoid the raw odour of fish. Marinating fish for more time may tend to break the fish while layering and during the ‘dum’. You can remove the skin of the fish and use it, but it’s always better not to remove the skin to hold its shape, as the fish break quickly while getting cooked in the second phase of ‘dum’ cooking.
You can use King fish, Pomfret, sear fish (Aikora), butter fish (modha), pomfret (avoli) or any other firm fish. If using frozen fish, after marinating do not leave it for longer than 10 to 15 minutes.
2. To determine when the rice has reached that stage, remove a few grains from the pot and press between your thumb and forefinger. The rice should mostly mash but will have a firm whitish core.
3. For making this fish biriyani, you can use preferably Basmati Rice. Or else you can go for Kaima rice, a small grain mildly flavoured rice. Jeera or Jasmine rice is also okay for making this dish.
4. Using yogurt marinates and tenderizes the fish very well along with giving the dish a wonderful flavour.
5. Try to use fresh saffron which gives nice flavour and orange color. If the saffron is very old, the threads do not release enough color and flavor. In that case, it is best to use a mortar and pestle and grind/powder it with salt or sugar (in this case salt) and then add it to the dish.
6. Using mint leaves and coriander leaves give a wonderful aroma and flavour. Fresh Mint is sometimes not easily available. Substitute for dried, crushed Mint, available at Indian grocery stores.
7. Adjust the spices as per your tolerance level. If you want biriyani to be extra spicy, add some chilly powder too, but personally I don’t prefer using Chilly powder in Biriyanies which changes the entire look of the Biriyani.
8. Save the leftover ghee of frying onion, cashews and raisins for layering the biryani.
9. If the gravy of fish masala is dry, then add ¼ cup of water if needed.
10. You can also add in full boiled eggs along with the gravy. It tastes very good.
11. For the ‘dum’ process, any heavy bottom iron pan or steel pan can be used. A well placed lid with a moist cloth also would work out well instead of whole wheat powder ‘dum’ method.
12. If you prefer to cook this fish biriyani in the oven and not going for dum method, cover the bowl with an aluminium foil and bake it in the pre heated oven for 30 minutes at 180 degree Celsius. Take it out from the oven and now your Chicken Biriyani is ready to be served.
13. You can cook the rice on one burner and start making the gravy simultaneously on another burner.
You can use the same recipe for beef or mutton.
14. I have used Homemade Yogurt. You can see how thick it is. I will be adding the recipe of how to make such a thick yougurt at home later.

Pictorial (Stage-wise images) of Fish Dum Biriyani:






















Serve it to your loved ones.. 
Happy Cooking..

Once again wishing all my viewers, friends and families A Warm Merry Christmas and Happy New Year..



To get all the latest updates, connect with us on Facebook , Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and Instagram. It will keep us motivated.

You have an option to add your Comment on our website. Just go to the page and scroll down. You can see the space provided there to comment. Pls. add your feedback there both positive and negative.

Hope you liked our Recipes with its step by step explanation and the `TIPS` and `RECIPE NOTES`. Pls. support us by SHARING it and clicking on the ‘LIKE’ button of our Facebook Page, so that you will get our latest recipes on your newsfeed without missing them.

Hope you all try this and let us know what you think.. We love to see your creations. So, when you try out this recipe, take a picture and email it to

Last, but not the least, pls. Subscribe to Our Youtube Channel for latest video alerts.

Meen Biriyani Recipe / Machli ki Biriyani / Boneless Fish Biriyani / Restaurant Style Fish Biriyani / Homemade Fish Biriyani / Kerala Style Fish Biriyani / How to Prepare Fish Biriyani / ഫിഷ് ബിരിയാണി റെസിപ്പി / മീൻ ബിരിയാണി റെസിപ്പി.

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 35 mins Calories: 420/ 1 serving Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Fish biriyani is so heavenly, flavorful and delicious rice dish. Biriyani nicely made, is a pleasure to behold and eat.. Everyone will surely enjoy the great taste of it. Serving it with Raitha, Pappad and Pickle will definitely smack your lips.. Here are the steps to be followed while making Fish Biriyani.

Keywords: fish biriyani recipe, fish dum biriyani, malabar fish biriyani, meen biriyani, how to make fish biriyani, homemade

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

16 − 2 =