Fish Biryani

Rate this recipe 
Average: 4.5 (2 votes)
Serves 4-5

Fish is probably my favourite protein and this Fish Biryani recipe is one of a kind. It is easy to make, extremely flavourful and even those who do normally enjoy fish will LOVE this meal and request second helpings! I normally make this whenever my husband goes fishing and brings home a large catch, as a little celebratory meal! :)

Ingredients for Fish Masala
500 gm
fish fillet of your choice, cut into pieces
(marinate this in a paste of 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp salt, quarter tsp turmeric powder, quarter tsp garlic paste, quarter tsp cumin powder and juice of a lemon)
onions, sliced finely and fried until golden
tomatoes, chopped
2-3 tbsp
tomato paste/puree
1 tsp
garlic paste
1 tsp
ginger paste
1/2 tsp
chilli powder
1/2 tsp
turmeric powder
1 tsp
cumin powder
1/2 cup
yoghurt, fresh and well whipped
1 tbsp
mint leaves, chopped
2-3 tbsp
coriander leaves, chopped
green chilli, chopped
salt to taste
juice of half a lemon
oil as needed
Ingredients for Rice
3 cups
basmati rice, washed 2-3 times then soaked for half an hour
saffron & food colouring
whole spices

First, fry the marinated fish for just 2-3 mins on each side. Just enough to help it hold its shape in the biryani so that it doesn't fall apart whilst cooking. Remember that it will get cooked further in the masala later.

Heat a pan and add quarter cup of oil in it, then fry your sliced onions until golden. Remove half of them from the pan and set aside, leave the other half in the pan.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir-fry on medium to low heat until well softened. You can even cover this for a while so it keeps cooking until the tomatoes are very soft. Add ginger and garlic, followed by the tomato paste/puree and cook for a few minutes. Then add the whisked yoghurt and stir together, keep cooking this on low heat until the yoghurt is well blended into the mixture and some oil starts coming out from the sides. Now add the powdered spices and green chilli, some coriander and the fish. Cook in the masala for about 15 minutes on low heat, you can add a bit of water (less than half a cup) if you find it too dry. Lastly, squeeze in the lemon juice.

Next prepare the Rice

Soak a few saffron strands in some water and set aside.

Bring a big pot of water to boil, add salt, 4 cardamom pods, 2-3 cinnamon sticks and 2-3 cloves plus about 2 tbsp. of oil.

Drain the soaked rice and add it to this water when it is boiling. Cook until the rice is about 3/4 done, remove and strain out all the water. Put half the rice back into the pan, add the fish masala, followed by the fried onions set aside from before, the rest of the chopped coriander and the mint leaves, then cover with the rest of the rice so that the fish masala is sandwiched between the rice layers.

Drizzle 2 tbsp. of oil, the soaked saffron water and some orange/yellow colour on the rice. Seal the pot and put on dum/steam it on the stove....or bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve!!


Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Please check the international folder.

any new updates on how to cook native and sweet meals in kenya


Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, salmon, red snapper, king fish all are good.

jazakallah khair. your recipes are awsome thank you so much its a great help.

salam fauzia thank you for the recipes,i want racipes in swahili please:)

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, sorry at the moment all the recipes are in English only.

Fish biryani i tried mashaallah my family was happy may allah bless you Fauziya.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Sorry I speak neither gujrati nor hindi.

Salamualaykum sister fauzia, first time ever in my life, I attempted
Fish biryani because I thought it was too hard to make but
ALHAMDULLILAH it turned out soo well my husband and kids
Absaloutly LOVED it so a very BIG Thank you for
Sharing this recipe

Jazakallah for all ur recipes I tried some of them and they all turned out really well Alhamdulillah. How about sea bass for this recipe?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Thank you Raheema, yes sea bass is fine for this recipe. :)

I tried ur fish biryani today it turned out delicious I love ur recipes thank u so much <3


At what temperature should I bake the Biriyani? Can I layer the fish at the bottom instead of the middle so that the rice doesn't burn ?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, preheat the oven to 180 C and bake for just 10 mins. There should be no risk of the rice burning in that short a time, but yes you can layer the fish at the bottom if you prefer. :)

It sounds good.. I have never made fish biryani before ill make it soon now...


i wanted to ask you apart from fish fillet can i use pieces of fish that that are cut from a whole fish

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes you can do that.


plz when you put the pot on stove ,we should the food to cook for 10 mins that is the number of minutes as bake in the oven . both are the same ?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes same...make sure the oven is preheated before putting the pot inside it.

Plz lemme know how to make tomato paste?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

I buy it ready made from the supermarket dear, maybe you know it as tomato puree?

Winifred's picture

I would like to make the fish biryani for 13 15 le. How many Kgs of fish diced and how many Kgs of rice?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Well this recipe serves 4-5 people (used half kilo of boneless fish). So you will need to multiply ALL the ingredients by 3 in order to serve that many people.

Hi, may I know the exact measurements for the ingredients you used to marinate the fish fillet?

Many thanks!

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Half a tsp of each ingredient. :)

My wife tried this today, came out well MaShaa Allah....but a small prob....the masala smell is to avoid it?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Thanks for the lovely feedback. Not sure about the masala smell, could it be that the fish itself that was used had a strong smell?

made it yesterday was soo good!!!!!!!

salams fauzia what shall serve with fish biryani any side dises or any chutneys?jazakallah.

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, kachumbar and green chutney will work. Recipes in the salad folder and the pickles/dips folder

Hi witch basmati rice you using ur biriyani,s?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, every country has different brands, where are you from?

Hi im from srilnka indian basmati rice r available hear like indiagate Daawat

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, both those are good brands that are known internationally so whichever one from the two will work.

Salaams sister.l tried this. In a hurry because I had to go out. I had to layer the rice in my rice cooker. Instead of a pot on the stove. I didn't have yoghurt so substituted coconut milk! The smell was incredible. The taste was the best I have ever cooked! The rice was cooked perfectly moist enough to be eaten just as it is without any accompaniments. . Everyone loved it! Lot more confident. Thank you so much for your recipes.

Lameena's picture

Assalamu alaikum sister
How long should I marinate the fish????

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

If possible overnight, otherwise even half an hour is enough.

Lameena's picture

I tried it today. Masha Allah, it came out very well & every1 loved it... <3

How can I make fish biryani without yogurt as combining dairy with fish is not good for health

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

I have been combining fish and dairy all my life and alhmd have never had any effect. I think this is a myth or old wives tale that has just been passed on and on to our generation. Am not sure how the results would be without the yoghurt but you are welcome to try. :)

Salaams Fauzia
I hope the fasting is going well. I would like to try this recipe. What is the best rice to use available in the Kenyan market. The rice in the picture is long and fluffy. Mashallah. thanks. Regards. Gulshan

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thank you. I use Sunrice, the orange pack. :)

Hi Fauzia your recipes are fantastic, I would like to try this recipe for my sons 8th birthday, can I make the fish masala the day before, will it still be ok ? On the day I will boil the rice and add the fish masala as you have mentioned above. I want to use cod fish is this okay?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, thanks Yasmin. Yes that is totally ok.

I made this Fish Biryani for my parents tonight. It turned out absolutely amazing. I topped the biryani with oven roasted potatoes. Thanks so much for a fantastic recipe :) Keeping it in the permanent collection, will definitely make it again!

Asalam alaikum fauzia, all I can say os I love YOU. Masha allah. Your website is every young brides dream I have tried out over 6 of your recipes and I have never been disappointed. I have just registered.
I want to make this tonight but I don't have saffron, is it ok?
Thank u and once again I am very greatful.

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thank you! Yes that's totally fine, you can omit the saffron.

I made this last night and it was fantastic! An instant favorite. Thanks for the recipe!