WELCOMING 2012 with this delicious Kolkata Fish Biriyani .
The third in the list of famous Biryanis, Calcutta/Kolkata biryani evolved from the Lucknow style when Wajid Ali Shah, the last nawab of Awadh was exiled in 1856 to the Kolkata suburb of Metiaburj. He brought his personal Chef with him as he was very particular about his food. Due to recession at that point of time potato had been used instead of meat/fish. Later on that became a specialty of Calcutta Biryani, though meat/fish is also served along with it. As compared to other Biryanis Calcutta/Kolkata biryani is much lighter on spices . Even my daughter could enjoy it :-)
I was inspired by ashmita's space to prepare this biryani. I have kept almost the same ingredients, but used my own methods to prepare the dish. I had plans to use Pomfret initially, but my father got a 5 lbs. Silver Carp today, so used that instead.
Preparation time : 30 minutes
Cooking time : 45 to 50 minutes
Serves : 4 to 5
- 2 and 1/2 cups long grained rice (Basmati rice)
- 5 pieces Silver Carp ( can use any fish of your choice, preferably any oily fish)
- 2 large onions, chopped lengthwise
- 2 large potatoes, cut into quarter
- 1, 1" cinnamon
- 1 Black cardamom
- 2 Green cardamom
- 3 cloves
- 1 Anise seed
- 1 Bay leaf
- 3/4th tsp Nutmeg powder
- 1/2 tsp Mace powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp Chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 pinch Saffron (can also use yellow/orange color)
- 1 n 1/2 tsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp kewra water
- 2 n 1/2 tbsp Ghee
- 4 tbsp Oil
- Coriander leaves, to garnish
- Marinade the Fish pieces with salt, a pinch of turmeric powder, cumin powder ,red chili powder, 1 tbsp lemon juice , keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes. In the mean time, boil the potatoes, till it becomes a bit tender. Keep aside.
- Next heat 2 tbsp of ghee and fry the Bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, anise seed , once fragrant, add rice and fry with all the spices for a minute. Add salt and water and boil till the rice is 90% cooked.
- In the mean time, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wide bottomed pan and fry the fish pieces to a light golden brown color on both the sides.Keep aside.
- Next fry half of the cut onion to a golden brown color in 1 tbsp of oil , keep aside.
- In the same pan, heat one more tbsp of oil , add the rest of the onion and fry till translucent, next add the half boiled potatoes, salt and turmeric powder, sprinkle a little water and let cook covered till the potatoes are fully done. Take out from the heat, keep aside.
- Grease a wide flat bottomed, non stick skillet with ghee . Divide the rice into two halves. Add one half of the rice to the pan and spread out with a ladle to make a bed.
- Sprinkle sugar , mace powder and nutmeg powder on the rice bed. In a spoonful of warm milk, add two pinches of saffron and drizzle half of it on the rice. Add half of the fried potatoes with onion and reserve the rest for the next step.
- Next add the remaining rice on top and spread out in all directions to make a bed . Pour a cup of milk on the rice. Drizzle the rest of the saffron milk , add the remaining fried potato, fried onion, and the fish pieces. Lastly add a tbsp of kewra water. Let cook covered on low heat for 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle a tbsp of lemon juice before removing from heat.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with Raita and Papad.
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