Biryani is the king of Indian food. It is hands down everyone’s favorite treat. Be it a wedding, party or a tummy filling treat, biryani is definitely a crowd pleaser. Biryani is commonly made using chicken or lamb pieces. 

For fish lovers, fish biryani is a real treat. The preparation is almost similar to chicken/lamb biryani. The difference lies in the infusing of fish fry flavors into the rice. This recipe for fish biryani is made using Seer fish steaks. I also use the same recipe to make prawns biryani.

Biryani for 2 –


Fish marination

  • 4 Fish steaks
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tap garam masala 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Biryani Preparation

  • 1 cup long grain basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 inch cinnamon, 2 cloves, 2 cardomom, bay leaf, star anise
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 2 green chillies deseeded
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1/4 cup curd
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp fish biryani masala (I use shan biryani masala)(optional)
  • Coriander leaves chopped
  • Mint leaves chopped
  • Salt
  • Water

Directions –

1. Marinate the fish pieces in the marinating ingredients for half an hour. In a fry pan, fry the fish slightly till golden brown (skip this step if using prawn/shrimp)

2. In a deep vessel, heat ghee and add all whole spices. 

3. Add in slices onions, green chillies and ginger garlic paste. Sauté for 2 minutes.

4. Add in chopped tomatoes and sauté till mushy. 

5. Add in half the chopped coriander and mint leaves. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, fish biryani masala and salt.

6. Add in the curd and mix well. Check the salt and spice levels and adjust to your liking.

7. Slowly place the half fried fish steaks into the masala and cover it. Place a lid and allow the fish to cook completely for 4-5 minutes. Biryani masala is ready. 

8. Soak basmati rice for 30 minutes. In a pot of boiling water, add the soaked rice along with some whole spices. Cook for 7-8 minutes until half cooked. Drain immediately and save the hot drained water. 

9. Make a biryani dum arrangement by placing a flat heavy bottomed tawa on low flame and placing a flat bottomed biryani vessel on top. 

10. Now layer the biryani masala and the white rice alternatively ending with the white rice on top. Top it with some coriander and mint leaves.

11. Wrap the vessel opening with aluminium foil. Close the lid and keep the drained hot water on top.

12. Keep on dum for 15-20 minutes. Gently stir the rice without breaking fish pieces and again close for 5-10 minutes. 

Yummy fish biryani is ready. Serve it with raita, paapad and brinjal curry.

For more details on perfect biryani preparation read – How to master dum biryani