karimeen biriyani

karimeen biriyani

Karimeen Biriyani


Karimeen or Pearlsopt  is the official fish of  Kerala state, by every means karimeen deserves this title and the year 2010-11 was observed as ‘The Year of Karimeen Fish’.

Karimeen  biriyani is yet another famous biriyani from Kerala.  The Peralspot or Karimeen is one of  the most famous fishes from the backwaters of Kerala. Karimeen is mostly seen in the backwaters Kollam, Kottayam and Alappuzha area and also seen in some of the rivers and fresh water too.

Even though karimeen is available throughout the year, karimeen is not often seen at local restaurants as the karimeen is more on the expensive side.

There are myriad delicacies made out of karimeen. Karimeen Pollichathu, karimeen molly and karimeen fry are most prominent of all.

Here in this recipe, I have slowly roasted the whole karimeen fish and layered with the rice to make this wonderful biriyani..



  • Karimeen or pearl spot- 4 each
  • Basmati rice- 400 gms
  • Coconut oil – 100 ml
  • Onion – 2 big, slced
  • Tomato – 2 medium, sliced
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 1 Tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 Tsp
  • Chilly powder- 1 Tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 Tsp
  • Fenugreek – 1/2 Tsp
  • Yogurt – 75 gms
  • Black pepper powder – 1 Tsp
  • Ghee or vegetable oil- 1 Tbsp
  • Carrots – 50 gms
  • Green beans – 50 gms
  • Water – 400 ml
  • Cardamom – 4 pcs
  • Cloves – 4 pcs
  • Bay leaves – 2 pcs
  • Cinnamon- 1 pcs
  • Coriander leaves- 2 Tbsp, chopped
  • Salt to taste


  1. Clean, wash and slit the skin at an angle using a sharp knife.
  2. Marinate fish with gingergarlic paste ( reserve half for the gravy), turmeric, coriander powder, turmeric and salt and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.Refrigerating fish will help the marination to go inside the effectively.
  3. Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes. Before soaking , please read the cooking instruction for the rice as the soaking time of different rice may vary for different brands.
  4. Shallow fry the fish until it is almost done and keep aside.
  5. To make the gravy for the fish, heat coconut oil in a medium sized pot and  saute onion until it is soft.
  6. Add gingergarlic paste, cook until the flavor is apparent.
  7. Now add the powdered spices such as turmeric, chilly, coriander and fenugreek and continue to cook.
  8. Once the oil has come on top, add tomatoes and cook until the whole mixture has cooked well.
  9. Add yogurt and mix well.
  10. Add the shallow fried fish, mix slowly to immerse the fish pieces inside the gravy. Make sure to cover the fish with the gravy and slow until the fish is cook and remove from the fire.
  11. To make the rice, in a medium sized pot, heat oil and add whole spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves.
  12. Add rice and cook until the rice is crispy.
  13. Add boiling water and salt, bring to a boil and cook on a  simmering fire until the rice is cooked.
  14. Remove from the fire and make the rice flaky using back side of the spoon.
  15. Now you need to layer the biriyani. To layer the biriyani, in a pot, first you need to spread the rice. Then add one layer of fish with gravy, make sure to spread the gravy all around the pot.
  16. You can dum cook the biriyani in a medium hot oven or on a hot plate.
  17. Serve garnished with fried onions, chopped coriander and mint leaves.

 Bone Appetite & Happy Cooking!


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