Lightened Up Fish Biryani With Fresh Dill #SundaySupper

Lightened Up Fish Biryani With Fresh Dill #SundaySupper

fish biriyani Fish Biryani! Tender fish cooked in a savory mixture of rice, spices and fresh dill! The heady aroma of dill and spices filled my home when I cooked fish biryani last night! My Sunday Supper team is celebrating dads this week and I made one of my dad’s favorite dishes: fish biryani! I call this a lightened version because I used mainly olive oil to make this dish.  Traditionally any biryani is made using loads of ghee (clarified butter) and since my dear dad has heart issues I made this lightened version using very little ghee and more heart healthy olive oil. I also swapped traditional cilantro with dill in this recipe. I love cilantro but I find dill pairs with fish much better than cilantro in this dish. Fresh dill gives it a unique fresh flavor and creates a light flavorful healthy fish biryani! I seared the fish on both sides with some spices to keep it from breaking up and that holds the fish together when you cook the biryani. I also cooked the fish biryani on the stove for the first part and then popped it into the oven for the last twenty minutes. This ensures evenly cooked rice with a slightly baked flavor. My family loved my fish biryani, a dish inspired by my dad! fish biriyani5 Nutrition Wise!

Fish is a good source of heart healthy omega 3 and lean protein. Add some olive oil and fresh dill and you have a hearty dose of antioxidants! Fish biriyani2 About my dad!

My dad is one of the kindest persons I know of.  He was a zoology professor and I have vivid memories of different kinds of specimens displayed on shelves in our home. I also remember his students dissecting frogs, snakes and fish in our large dining room. No wonder I do not flinch or squeal even when I see the largest bugs. I grew up with them 😉 ! My dad lives in India so I don’t see him as much as I’d like but every time I make this lightened version of fish biryani I remember him. fish pulav


Fish Biriyani with Fresh Dill

Serves 10-12
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Region Indian


  • 3 Cups basmati rice (uncooked)
  • 2 Lbs boneless fish (cut into 3 inch slices)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil divided
  • 2 Tsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3 Tsp ginger paste (or grated ginger)
  • 3 Tsp garlic paste (or finely diced garlic)
  • 3 Tbsp biryani masala
  • 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup fresh dill (chopped and divided)
  • 4 Cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tsp saffron (optional)
  • 2 Tsp salt


Biryani masala is available in Asian & Indian stores. Combine equal parts of powdered cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel with 1/2 quantity of powdered chili, cinnamon, cloves to make your own custom basic biryani masala mix.


Soak rice in water.
Heat 2 tsp oil. Smear fish with cumin, turmeric salt and lightly sear on both sides for 2 minutes. Keep aside.
Heat remaining oil in a deep dish. Add onion and cook about 3-5 minutes till translucent. Add ginger, garllc paste and cook another 2 minutes. Add biryani masala, tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes till oil floats on top..
Add 4 cups water and cook till it boils. Add soaked rice, salt, half of the dill and close the lid. Cook ten minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Open the deep dish, add remaining dill, milk and gently stir the mixture. Rice should be half cooked at this point. Gently slide in fish, saffron, Drizzle the ghee, cover with rice and cover the lid. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Serve warm with yogurt or raita.

Check out what the rest of my Sunday Supper team had cooked up in honor of their dad’s !

Dad’s Favorite Main Dishes: 

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