Thursday, 5 March 2009


A Friday treat is what comes to my mind about this biryani. Brings back so many memories of the Najma auntie's family. A simple person and the sweetest person I have come across in my life. It shows in this recipe it may sound strange to you but like other things we do put our personalities in our food food too. The more complexed the recipe the more complexed a personality, the simpler the recipe the simpler the person.You'll experience this that sometimes lots of spices complicate the recipe hence making us confused and mixed up in making decisions and the less the ingredients the the less complicated our recipe the easier to make it and we lots of confidence because we know what we want and what happens in its reactions.

Najma auntie on one Friday Afternoon sent us this biryani for lunch and we loved it after that Mumma just mentioned the kids loved it and there we go she sent it every Friday and it was like a treat because we had never had anything like this before. This biryani's best thing is that if you are put off by the thought of fish smelling utensils and hands or when having biryani the smell of fish is just not what you like than things are just about to change because this biryani has no fish smell just fish taste. Najma auntie made this biryani with freshly caught fish by uncle or freshly bought hamour. I've used all kinds of fishes to make this biryani and each time it comes out the same. Simply delicious is what I can say. Just make sure that the fish you use has only one bone or minimal bones or else you'll be busy looking for the fish bones rather eating anything at all. That's the thing with fish the less the bones the better for biryani's and the more the bones the better for curries. Curries are more enhanced in flavours if the fish used in it has more fine fish bones. I miss Najma auntie every time I eat this fish biryani,I guess shes having hiccups now. A big thank you to Najma auntie for sharing her recipe with mumma and us. I hope this recipe becomes a treat for you as it has been for me and my family for years now...enjoy.(:~)


  • 3 1/2 Cups Basmati rice (Always for biryanis)
  • 540 g Pollock or any white fish with one middle Bone.
  • 700g Chopped tomatoes can or medium 7-8 chopped tomatoes.
  • 2 Tbsp Roasted,ground zeera (cumin)
  • 5-6 Green chillies more if you like more
  • 2 Medium sized onions sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/4 Bunch coriander leaves
  • 1/4 Bunch mint leaves
  • 3 Tbsp Salt
  • 1-2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Cups oil

  1. In 1/2 cup oil fry onions.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp salt and ginger garlic paste.
  3. When Golden brown break onions into small pieces with the help of the wooden spoon.
  4. Add little water if need, not otherwise.
  5. Now add red chilli powder,turmeric , and zeera stir fry for 2 Min's browning the onions further.
  6. Put chopped tomatoes in now stirring vigorously for 1/2 a min now cover and cook for further 3-4 Min's till you hear bubbling sounds.

  7. While this is cooking cut and clean your fish under cold water if fresh if frozen and already in fillet form cut to a convenient size.

  8. Now Check your tomatoes and let it cook on high heat till oil can be seen bubbling and separating from the pan and the masala.
  9. Add your Already cut fish in, if frozen add only 1/4 cups water no more or your fish will break. but if adding fresh fish add about 1/2 cups water or little more till the fish is covered in the curry.
  10. Cover and cook for 8-10 Min's or till you see you fish is half done.
  11. Remove from heat and leave it aside.
  12. For boiling rice add to water 2 Tbsp salt,sabet (whole)garam masala,some mint leaves.

  13. While the Water is boiling cut the green chillies in half,clean ,wash and cut the mint and coriander leaves.
  14. Add rice when the water starts to boil.
  15. Boil rice till they start to break into three pieces when pressed in between first finger and thumb.
  16. Strain the rice in a colander.

  17. Now in the same pan you boiled the rice add oil 1/4 cup oil in it and roll the pan so as to cover the bottom of the pan in oil.
  18. Add the All rice back to the pan placing the pan on the mat not on heat yet.

  19. Now spread the fish curry you have set aside on the rice. For doing so first remove the fish from the curry and place it in the plate to prevent it from breaking.
  20. After pouring the curry into the rice covering it well place the fish on top of it and spread green chillies,mint and coriander leaves, squeeze lemon juice on top and spread 1/4 cup oil on top of it. Cut the lemon half in 4 peices and place that on top of it too.
  21. Now cover and cook on high heat for 5 Min's and then 20 Min's on very low heat.

  22. Serve with fresh salad or some achar or chutney.

                  I have had this biryani for a long long time can't even remember how long. and every time I've made it people have loved having it including myself. Its easy and satisfying kind of dish. If you like fish you'll love it but even if you're not such a fan of fish you'll still like it. give it a try and see....As i always hope and wish i will this time too That you enjoy this biryani as much as i have done for so many years...enjoy...:)


                1. Hi
                  first of all thanks for sharing this recipe with us all, I had this once in my life in India since then I wanted this to try again but that was 30 years back and my Aunt who made it died ages ago so I lost hope. I was going through my emails and my friend send me this link to check for palak paneer and I saw fish biryani then I went straight to my local shop for the ingredients and tried it last night and suddenly I realized this is what I have been waiting for.....thanks again God bless you. Ali (Philipines)

                2. hello...
                  i'm so so happy to read this i've actually got tears in my eyes...thanks so so much for liking it...i hope you like all the recipes i put up and please please do write in your comments because they motivate to write in a better way.
                  thank you again so so much...:)

                3. I made the biryani last saturday...i was scared that my mian would no like it but he njoyed it and so did mysha..thank u sooooooo much now i am waiting for the machli ka ya

                4. Asak, Maria.

                  Thanks for sharing this recipe. I ate fish biryani made by your mom in Jubail and I remember it well.

                  Although I prefer lamb or chicken biryani, fish biryani would be a good change now and then.

                  What other fish could you use apart from pollock? I don't think you get hamour in europe. Do you?

                  I was thinking of trying it with cod. Will it work.

                  @Raazah, aapne kaunsi machli ki biryani banayee?


                  Safia apa

                5. This is going to be my third recipe from ur blog, i tried the pathani gosht, the donuts and now this inshallah. Just a question do u mix this biryani? do u remove the fish first and then mix the masala? I'm planning to try it with Tilapia fish fillets. Will post back how it turned out inshallah.

                6. hey there thanks for trying our and writing your commenets they mean alot and help me to write a better a new recipes. when you dish this biryani first remove the fish in a seperate dish and than mix the rice with the gravy and place it in the dish over it add fish to the rice. this prevents the fish from breaking. but then also depends which fish you are using since some fish are a bit harder then the cod becomes hard but cobbler is very very soft. good luck...enjoy:)

                7. Alhumdulilah it turned out pretty good, i used tilapia which is a softer fish and i think i shud've cooked it for less than 5 mins in the gravy, but nevertheless it was a good eat, inshallah i think i see a few more interesting recipes on ur blog, will comment when i try them inshallah.


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