Coastal Comfort: Authentic Kerala Style Malabar Fish Biryani Recipe For You To Make At Home

One of the most authentic delicacies from Kerala, Malabar fish biryani is an absolute delight to have. Fall in love with this unique biryani while creating the dish at the comfort of your home, with the help of this simple recipe.

Published On Apr 23, 2024 | Updated On Apr 23, 2024


A blend of perfectly marinated fish along with spicy and aromatic rice, Malabar fish biryani is an absolute melt-in-your-mouth kind of dish. There are several varieties of biryani and several ways to prepare biryani, however, every biryani recipe has its own uniqueness. What makes Kerala fish biryani one of a kind is the use of khaima rice in the fish biryani recipe. Generally, biryani recipes are prepared with basmati rice, and although this recipe of Indian fish biryani is similar to other biryani recipes, its the use of khaima rice that adds a touch of uniqueness to this delicacy. The khaima rice prepared alongside tender and juicy fish pieces and fresh ground spices is how the best fish biryani is prepared. Follow this easy fish biryani recipe to bring to your home the authentic taste of Kerala cuisine.

  1. 1 kg khaima rice
  2. 1 kg Spanish mackerel or neymeen
  3. 75 grams crushed ginger and garlic
  4. 50 grams green chilis
  5. 300 grams onions ( large sized)
  6. 150 grams tomatoes
  7. 70 ml ghee
  8. 50 ml sunflower oil
  9. 20 grams coriander powder
  10. 20 grams of fennel seeds powder
  11. 50 ml curd
  12. 5 grams of turmeric powder
  13. 10 grams garam masala powder
  14. 10 grams of ginger garlic paste
  15. 10 grams of chilli powder
  16. 10 pieces of clove
  17. 10 grams coriander leaves
  18. 10 grams mint leaves
  19. 2 pieces cinnamon
  20. 5 grams pepper
  21. 2 bay leaves
  22. 5 pieces of cardamom
  23. 5 grams fennel seeds
  24. 10 grams of refined flour or maida
  25. 1 and ½ litres of water
  26. Salt to taste

  1. Rinse the khaima rice thoroughly, and soak it in water for an hour.
  2. Marinate the fish in ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, and salt and thereafter grill the fish in a pan.
  3. Take a large vessel for the preparation of the fish biryani, and heat the sunflower in it.
  4. Add garam masala powder, along with the largely cut onion pieces, and pour the required amount of water as mentioned in the ingredient list.
  5. Drain out the water completely from the rice that is soaked, and cook the rice in the vessel. Once the water from the rice begins to evaporate, cover the vessel with a lid and cook for another 5 minutes. Once done, switch off the flame and cover it for 30 minutes.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, add 50 ml sunflower oil to the vessel and then add the large slices of onions that you have cut. 
  7. Saute the onions till they turn golden, and then add in finely chopped tomato along with fennel powder, coriander powder, and salt. 
  8. Continue cooking the ingredients in the vessel till they turn soft and mushy.
  9. Add in the grilled fish, mix with the ingredients in the vessel and cook for 5 minutes on low flame. 
  10. Mix curd with mint leaves and coriander leaves and stir briskly, then add it to the rice which has been cooking on dum or slow cooking.
  11. Once you have added the fish biryani masala, cook on dum once again by covering and sealing the dish with fried cashews, raisins, finely chopped coriander and mint leaves. 
  12. Continue to cook on low flame for another 20 minutes and serve.

Pro tip: Pair the dish with a delicious salad, or lemon pickle for a perfect taste. 


1. What can be the alternative to khaima rice?
Khaima rice is an essential ingredient to the Malabar fish biryani, however, you can use basmati rice, jeera rice or even jasmine rice as per your preference.

2. Can a different fish be used instead of the Spanish mackerel?
Yes, you can use a fish of your choice, but make sure you use two large fish pieces, weighing at least 220 grams each. 

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