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Archive for December 19th, 2007

Salmon Biryani

Posted by vivnidhi on December 19, 2007


Salmon Biryani

So, after losing my entire post, I am back, re-posting the original recipe.

I am a vegetarian and so I have not tasted the recipe I write here. My husband likes to call himself a ” wannabe vegetarian”.  He is extremely fond of non-vegetarian food but to make better choices nutrition wise, he likes me to try recipes with fish. This salmon biryani recipe is a favorite of my husband’s.

I searched various sites and blogs for a biryani recipe with Salmon but just didn’t find any. I decided to give it a try myself. My Bade and Chhote Nawab were quite impressed with the result and hence the post. The search for a perfect biryani recipe led me to Kitchen wonder’s Chicken Biryani recipe which had a very informative post on Biryani history History of biryani.

The Recipe:
(For 4 servings)

  • Basmati rice 2 cups
  • Salmon fillet 8 oz.
  • Milk 1/4 cup

For the Marinade:

  • Yogurt 1 cup
  • Chili powder 2 tsp.
  • 1″ piece of ginger minced fine or ginger paste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced fine or garlic paste
  • Coriander (Cilantro/ Dhaniya)  Powder 2 tsp.
  • Garam Masala 2 tsp.
  • Dry mango powder (amchur powder) 2 tsp.
  • Poppy seeds ground to a powder 2 tsp.
  • Fennel seeds/saunf ground to a powder 2 tsp.
  • Mint leaves chopped very fine or grinded to a paste 1 Tbsp.
  • Salt 1 Tbsp.

For Tempering:

  • Cinnamon 2″ piece
  • Black Cardamoms 2
  • Peppercorns 8
  • Bay Leaves 2
  • Cloves 4
  • Saffron a big pinch
  • Oil/ Ghee 2 Tbsp.

For Garnish:

  • Onions (Cut into rings) 2
  • Cashews 1/4 cup
  • Green Bell Pepper(medium size)  1/2
  • Tomato (medium size) 1/2

Prepare the fish by skinning it or defrost if using frozen. Cut the salmon in bite size pieces. Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and marinate the fish in it for 1 hour.


Marinated salmon

I am very careful when I deal with Basmati rice. Here in the U.S., basmati rice is the norm in Indian homes, but in India , in my house, basmati was always saved for special occasions cause it was so expensive. My mother made sure that each grain of rice remained separate. She had devised a technique of cooking rice and I follow it completely. Do not rub the rice much with hands when washing it for fear of breaking the grains. Soak the rice in ample water for 20-30 minutes. Heat a large amount of water in a deep pan and bring it to a rolling boil on high heat. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium high. Soaked rice cooks quite fast so check if the grains have softened after 10 minutes. Then strain the rice in a colander and throw the water. Fluff the rice with a fork. For biryani, I like to strain the rice before the grains soften completely.

Heat the oil (preferably ghee, if you can indulge) and add all the tempering ingredients except saffron. Add this hot tempering to the rice when the whole masalas start getting a little brown and when your neighbors start getting drawn to the aroma coming out of your kitchen. Well! don’t start looking for neighbors, the masalas might get burnt!!. Heat the milk to lukewarm and add saffron strands to it. Add the milk to the rice as well.  This is definitely a longer method of preparing the rice but I find it foolproof.


Rice tempered with whole spices and saffron

Preheat the oven to 400° F /200° C .  Cook the salmon pieces in the oven for about 4 mins, remove from oven, turn and cook again for 4 minutes. I like to add all the marinade along with the fish and save all the leftover marinade along with the fish after its cooked.

Meanwhile, prepare the garnish. Heat oil ,fry cashews and keep separate. In the same pan, fry the onions till crisp.  Slice bell pepper and tomato thin.

Gosh! Are we done yet? Nope! Heat the oven to 400° F. In an ovenproof casserole, layer 1/3 of the rice at the bottom , then 1/2 the fish along with the marinade and repeat. The top must be a layer of rice again. Garnish the biryani and cover it well with an aluminum foil. Keep it in the oven for 10 minutes.

Whew! Long process but the effort is completely worthwhile when the Nawabs relish it! Tastes great with mint chutney and raita.


Treat fit for the Royals!

I would like to send this recipe  to Sunita for her monthly Think Spice event which features cinnamon this month. I believe this biryani would be incomplete without cinnamon in the rice.

Some nice biryani recipes I came across are RP’s My workshop Fish Biryani, Pachakam.com’s Fish Biryani , Kitchen Wonder’s Chicken Biryani and Bawarchi’s Vegetable Biryani

This a big favorite at our place. Hope you would like it too!


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