Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hilsa Biryani or Ilish Biryani (ইলিশ বিরিয়ানি)

It was one of those boring weekday's and I was in no mood to survive on regular home-cooked food. I am very particular about what I eat and even more so about my cooking. My husband knows how tough it is to make me cook "dal-chawal" everyday; I feel so bored with these type of dishes. When I cook, I almost always try new recipes. So where was I? Yeah, I wanted something good for dinner, but as it was a weekday, it needed to be quick too. I made this easy Ilish Biryani. For this I used biryani spice mix and biryani flavor which made the job easier. But the outcome was very flavorful, tasty and in no way less than an authentic Ilisha Biryani. 

Hilsa Fish / Ilish (ইলিশ ) - 4 Pieces (Big)
Basmati Rice - 1 and 1/2 Cup
Onion (Big) - 1/2 (Grated)
Ginger - 1 Tsp
Garlic - 1 Tsp
Green Chili - According to taste
Yogurt - 1 Tbsp
Chili Powder - According to taste
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Salt - According to taste
Sugar - 1 Pinch
Bay Leaf - 2
Cardamom - 4
Cinnamon - 1" Piece
Clove - 4
Biryani Spice Mix - 2 Tsp
Biryani Flavor - 1/4 Tsp
Saffron - 1 Pinch
Milk - 2 Tbsp + 1/2 Cup

Soak rice in water for half an hour. Drain the water and gently wash the rice.

Cook rice with cardamom, cinnamon, and clove until al dante. Add some salt and olive oil into the water.

This will prevent rice grains from sticking together.

Beat yogurt, add salt and turmeric into it and smear the mixture on the fish pieces. Keep it aside for 10-15 minutes.

Warm 2 Tbsp of milk, add saffron into it and keep it aside covered.

Now heat oil in a nonstick pan.
Add bay leaves. Wait till it oozes fragrance.
Next add grated onion, add a pinch of salt and fry till it turns golden brown.

Add ginger, garlic and green chili paste and fry along.

Add chili powder, salt and sugar. Give it a good stir.
Now shift the fried paste to one side of the pan, add the marinated fish pieces in the oil and fry each side for about 1 minute or until the color changes.
Add biryani masala. Mix the fried paste with fish pieces carefully.

Cover and cook for 5 minutes on low heat.
Now take out the fish pieces, but leave the spice paste in the pan.
Add 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water to the pan, mix well with the paste. Bring it to a boil and let it cook covered on low heat until it gets a thick consistency.
Next smear ghee on a heavy bottom vessel.
Layer 1/3rd of the rice, then put 2 fish pieces on top, some gravy, a portion of the milk and saffron mixture, and a few drops of the biryani flavor.
Repeat the above steps once more with another 1/3 rice and the remaining 2 fish pieces.
Finally layer the remaining 1/3rd  part of rice. Add gravy, the milk and saffron mixture, and biryani flavor on top.
Cover the vessel with a tight lid and put it on a low flame for about 15 minutes. Or you can heat it in a water bath.
Serve with raita.