Friday, June 23, 2006

Malabar Meen Biriyani


Having spent a major part of my life in the Malabar region of Kerala,Malabar recipes have always been my top favourites.One should say that Malabar Muslims have really contributed a lot to the moulding of a very distinct culinary culture, which is now identified as 'Malabar' style...During Ramzan,as I said earlier in my
  • Ari Pathiri
  • post, our Muslim friends flooded our table with all those Muslim delicacies like Meen biriyani,Adukku Pathiri, Meen Pathiri,Kozhi porichathu,Kozhi Ada,Chatti pathiri,Unnakkaya, Muttamala,Alsa,Tharikanji,Kalathappam,Kinnathappam etc..I'm drooling here already!!(I shall blog some of these recipes soon)My mom had learnt this Meen biriyani from those good hearted Muslim friends that we had in Beypore, a port town in Calicut, which has plenty of history to tell....The legacy is passed on to me..... My husband says that he has never heard of 'Fish biriyani' before, and was thinking that it was one of my experiments! He wouldnt believe it when I said it is in fact a traditional dish which Malabar Muslims prepared during Festive seasons or on occasions like treating their 'Puyyapla'(Puthiya Mappila/New Bridegroom- who remains 'Puyyappla' even at 80!)....Treating 'Puyyappla' was a big ritual often....with many dishes prepared and all his comforts arranged. I have heard my 'ithathas' in Beypore telling that there have been occasions when many girls have been given 'talaq'(divorce) for the simple crime of not treating(feeding with all these delicacies) the Puyyapplas properly...but those are the stories of yesterdays when tradition ruled and women were lesser beings...but now things have changed tremendously...with education permeating the grass roots....people are more enlightened....and women more empowered...Perhaps the present generation cannot even believe that many traditions like 'Mootakalyanam' etc existed in the same society!...Let me not digress into those old stories...So here is the recipe for the famous Malabar Meen Biriyani.
      Posted by Picasa


    For Rice:

    Ghee - 2 tbsp
    Bay leaves-2
    Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
    Fennel seed powder-1/2 tsp
    Cinnamon- 4 sticks
    Aniseed-2 or 3
    Cloves - 4
    Pepper powder - 1 tsp
    Onion(sliced) - 1 (medium) onions
    Basmati rice - 3 cups
    Boiled water - 5 3/4 cups
    Lemon juice-1/2 a lemon
    Salt - as required

    For fish masala:
    King fish - 1/2 kg(Any Hard fleshed fish)
    Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
    Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
    Pepper powder-1/2 tsp
    Salt - 1 tsp
    Oil - 100ml
    Onion(sliced) - 3 large
    Ginger-garlic-green chillies paste - 2 tbsp
    Coriander leaves+Mint leaves+Curry leaves paste-2tbsp
    Tomato(chopped) - 2
    Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
    Curd - 1 tbsp
    Lemon juice-1/2 a lemon
    Thick coconut milk - 1/4 cup
    Ghee - 2 tbsp

    For garnishing:
    Cashew nuts(roasted)-25g
    onion-1 medium size-(finely chopped)


    Wash the basmati rice(long grain rice).Soak the washed rice for 5 minutes.Drain off the water completely.Boil water with salt.Heat ghee in a pan.Add bay leaves,cardamom,fennelseed,aniseed, cinnamon, cloves and pepper. Saute it for a couple of minutes.Add onions and fry till golden brown.Add rice,lemon juice and stir for about 5 min or till the grains become soft when you bite it.Pour boiled water and cook till it is done.Then using a fork stir the rice so that the grains separate out and keep it open so that excess water, if any, will evaporate completely.

    Fish may be cut into pieces, removing the bones. If it is really large fish like King fish you may retain the bone, for it adds to the taste.If served to kids it is better to remove the bones and cook.Marinate fish pieces with chilly powder, turmeric powder,pepper powder and salt for 30 minutes(pref. in the refrigerator).Fry the marinated fish pieces in oil.In the same oil used to fry the fish ,addd sliced onions and fry on a simmering flame, till it becomes golden brown.Add ginger-garlic-green chilly paste,coriander-mint-curry leaves paste, and tomato.Saute it for nearly 6minutes.Keep the flame medium.Stir it for 6 min.Add curd, coconut milk, and salt and stir it for 5 min.Add fried fish pieces and reduce the flame.Cook till it becomes a good thick gravy.

    Roast cashew nuts, raisins and onion in a small wok(deep brown).Take a deep bottomed vessel and layer rice,fish masala,Roasted nuts,raisins& roasted onions alternatively.Pour 2 tbsp of ghee and tightly cover with a lid.Keep it on a very low flame for 10 min.(Alternatively you can bake it in an oven for 10 minutes at 180 degrees).Traditionally the lid is sealed with Maida, and coconut husk embers are kept on top.( 'Dum').Serve it,the Biriyani please! ; ) hot with Onion/Potato Raita. Posted by Picasa

    Of late RP and I seem to be having a lot of telepathy.She has posted on Idli Sambar while Idli was sitting idle in the draft,I had posted a prawn fry while she too had one...Interestingly now she too has posted a Fish biriyani recipe,slightly different from that of mine...So for another variety try
  • RP's Fish Biriyani

    RP said...

    That sounds cool. We make biriyani often, at least once in a week. I add coconut milk sometimes to enhance the taste. Thanks for linking to my recipe.

    Anonymous said...

    ah! So now you are Rp are twins!
    Me and Sarah were quite a while! :)

    Puspha said...

    OMG!!!!! What a visual treat. This is a must try.

    Sherin said...

    Our Kozhikkodan Biriyani is always great!

    indianadoc said...

    >Oh god! that's too much of a frequency...How do u manage your statistics!!(Kidding!)
    >Ha ha...Minds twinned everywhere in the blogosphere...It is really surprising at times!
    >It is a treat for the stomach too...Do try it Pushpa and pl do tell me the feed back.
    >So Nammalum Kozhikkodananalley!!

    rakhi said...

    i love food..and was quiet happy to see ur recipe for fish biriyani..i will defenitely tryu it out...i was wondering if u have the recipe for the muslim malabar chicken biriyani...i searched the net..but nothing seemed satisfactory...if u have could u post it

    indianadoc said...

    >Pushpa do try and let me know whether u liked it...
    >Thanx Rakhi for dropping in....I do have a Malabar chicken biriyani in the draft...Shall post it as soon as I finish it...Please do visit again...

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Indianadoc, this is Rg. today I've gone thro' so many of your recipes.....I still am not done browsing thro' it completely. I've included many of them in my must try list. I'm really really impressed. Very nice of you to share such variety of mouth watering recipes with us. Fish biryani sounds super duper good. I'll be trying it out soon. thanks a lot.

    indianadoc said...

    Thanx Rg for having so much patience to go thro' and I have noted u'r kind words often...Pl do try the recipes and dont forget to tell me whether u liked or not hesitate to tell me if u did not like them as well...u'r comments r most welcome...

    Gini said...

    I made this too..I can't stop trying recipes from here. You are such an inspiration. Is your real name Shynee? I think I saw that in another blog, but now I am not so sure.

    lakshmimenon said...

    i made the mutton curry kallu shop style awesome , i wish i had some kallu to go with it

    indianadoc said...

    >thanx gini for the kind words..yes I am shynee..though of late I havent been posting much,feel happy that people still do drop in my blog and keep it kind of live...I should say that you guys are a real inspiration...thanks..

    >thanx laxmi for trying..hmm correct! kudichangu poosayi...adichangu baarayi style il alley!! ;)

    Hobby Cooking said...

    Thank you for such amazing information....your recipes are really good....!!

    catch me @