Northern Kerala, the malabar region has many wonderful cuisines. One such authentic dish is Biriyani.
Biriyani is always there to make us happy. Be it a lazy weekend or family get-together or any functions, it never fails to impress us. So for all the Biriyani lovers here, Come let me introduce you to the Malabar Fish Dum Biriyani.
Ghee rice and fish masala are arranged in layers and blending is done by the dum process. The fish is marinated and shallow fried before adding to the biriyani masala.
As you know biriyani is made with long grained Basmati rice, but here in this Malabar region, it is made with a short grain “kaima rice”. Now those of you, who do not have access to kaima rice, can very well try it with Basmati rice as I had done today 😜.
Ghee plays a prominent part in Malabar cuisine. If you are health conscious, you can use half ghee and half refined oil or even omit ghee and drizzle a bit of ghee finally while layering the dum too. The choice is yours.
In this Malabar recipe, I have used Seer Fish. You can use Pomfret or any fish of your choice. This is a very simple Biriyani and can be made with Chicken too. But I prefer- fish.
Devour the classic Malabar Dum Biriyani with the detailed instructions below.. (This is a fairly big post, so pls excuse).
How to make Malabar Dum Biriyani….
Author: Nathiya Adiseshan
Cooking Time: 45 mins
Preparation Time: 20 mins
Serves: 3 people
- 1/2 kg Seer Fish
- 1 1/2 cup, Kaima Rice (or any rice of your choice)
- Cardamom, Cloves, Bay leaves
- Cashewnuts, Raisins
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- Lime juice (optional)
For the gravy:
- 2 Onions, medium sized, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 2 Green Chillies, thinly slit
- 1 Tomato, chopped
- 2 tbsp Curd
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 tbsp Coriander Powder
- 1/2 tbsp Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Fennel Powder
- Coriander leaves, chopped
- Mint leaves, chopped
- 5 tbsp Ghee
Here we go….
- Wash rice and soak in water for 20 minutes, drain out in a strainer and keep aside.
- Marinate fish with the ingredients listed above and rest it for about 30 minutes.
- Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan and fry cashews and raisins. Keep it aside. In the same pan, add thinly sliced onions and a pinch of sugar and fry till they are caramelised and brown.
- Soak saffron in a 1 1/2 tbsp of warm milk.
- In a pressure cooker, pour 3 tbsp of ghee. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and bay leaves. Fry for a minute. Now add thinly sliced onions and saute until onion turns golden brown.
- Now add in soaked Basmati/ Kaima rice and saute for few minutes.
- Add 2 1/4 cups of boiling water (ratio is 1 cup rice= 1 and 1/2 cup water), salt and 1 tsp lemon juice. Combine well and pressure cook for two whistles. (If cooking in a kadai, cook in a medium low flame until water is fully absorbed).
- Heat a pan with 1 tbsp ghee and 2 tbsp of oil, shallow fry the marinated fish pieces. Transfer it to a plate.
- To the same pan, saute onion until it is slightly golden.
- Add ginger garlic paste and green chillies, saute until the raw smell goes away.
- Now add tomatoes and saute till it turns slightly mushy.
- Add in turmeric powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, salt and curd.
- Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for few minutes. When oil starts oozing out, add the fried fish and cook for 2 minutes and switch off the flame.
For Dum process:
- In a heavy bottomed pan, Spread the fish layer. To the top of it, add the rice, fried onions, nuts, rasins, coriander, mint leaves, and sprinkle saffron soaked milk.
- Layer it with the remaining fish masala and rice with the garnishings on top.
- Close it with a tight lid, so that steam does not escape. (Cover it with chapathi dough or aluminium foil).
- Keep a dosa tawa on a low flame. And place the pan above it for 7-10 minutes for the flavours to develop. Switch off the flame and rest it for 5 minutes.
- Mix gently and fluff it with fork.
- Serve hot biriyani accompanied by Cucumber raita, papadam & pickle.
- Adding a pinch of garam masala between the rice layers enhances the flavour (optional).
- If you have thick slices of fish, shallow fry it and dum it between the rice layers. If you feel so, slices are thin and may break easily, just top it above the rice and layer it with garnishings and go for dum process.
- I’ve used Kashmiri and Chilli powders, if you use chilli powder alone, adjust spice accordingly.
- You can either seal the lid with chapathi dough or wrap it with aluminium foil and place a shallow plate with heavy weight above it.