1. Fish fillets - 250 gm / 1/2 lb
2. Basmati Rice - 1 cup
3. Onion - 1 small or medium thinly sliced
4. Green chilly - 1 slit
5. Mint/Pudina leaves - 5 (optional)
6. Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
7. Garam masala - 1 tsp
8. Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
9. Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
10. Briyani masala (Store brought) - 1/4 tsp (This is optional)
11. Salt - as needed
12. Coconut milk - 3/4 cup
13. Tomato puree - 1/4 cup
14. Oil - 1 tbsp
1. You need fish fillets without any bones (I used Tilapia fillet). Or choose some fish which has less bones and more flesh like Spanish Mackerel (Vanjaram meen in Tamil) or Pompano (Vavvaal meen in Tamil).
2. Add garam masala, chilly powder, cumin powder, briyani masala (optional), salt (enough for the fish alone) to the fish pieces and mix well. Keep them aside to marinate.
3. Heat oil in a vessel which is big enough to cook the rice. When oil is hot add the green chilly, mint leaves, sliced onions and saute till onions turn translucent. Then add ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes off.
4. We need 2 cups of liquid to cook 1 cup of rice. So add 1 cup water + 1/4 cup tomato puree + 3/4 cup coconut milk = 2 cups liquid. Add all these to the onions. Add 1 tsp salt for the rice.
5. Add rice into the vessel and give a quick mix. Now place the fish pieces on top of the rice. Do not mix.
6. Let them come to a boil. Now reduce flame to low and close the lid. Cook for 15 to 17 mins. Do not open or mix in between.
7. Once rice is cooked, remove the fish pieces into a cup. Just chop them into small pieces using a spoon. (If you used fish with bones, make sure you remove the bones and skin before this step)Add this to the rice and mix carefully without breaking the cooked rice.
8. Serve hot with raita and fried fish.
This dish can be made in less than 30 minutes. And it tastes so good. I learnt this recipe so many years back from a TV cookery show. This recipe can also be cooked in a electric rice cooker, which has a steam attachment on top. You can place the fish in the steamer attachment above the rice. The juices in the fish will fall down through the holes in the steamer. Since I don't have an electric cooker, I cooked it in a normal vessel.