Easy & Yummy Salmon Fish Biryani

salmon fish biryani

Biryani is always a special treat in my house! When it comes to biryani, the chicken and mutton variants are very popular. But today, I’m going to share a unique biryani recipe with you – salmon fish biryani!

What is salmon biryani?

Fish biryani is often made with fish like mackerel, but salmon is a great choice for something different.

For those of you who are new to the biryani game, biryani is basically a one-pot dish of rice and meat/fish/vegetables cooked with a variety of spices and aromatics. In this case, I’ll be using salmon, but you can substitute this with another fish of your choice.

Can I use frozen salmon for salmon fish biryani?

Yes, you can!

I often buy salmon when it’s on sale and store it in my freezer. For this recipe, I’ve used frozen salmon that I thawed in the refrigerator overnight. Just pat the salmon dry with a couple of paper towels before using, and you’re good to go!

salmon biryani

Which is the best rice for cooking salmon fish biryani?

I love using long grain, basmati rice when cooking biryani, as the resulting biryani comes out nice and fluffy. Typically, basmati rice needs a 1:1.5 ratio of rice to water for cooking, but this may vary depending on the brand you use. Follow the ratio recommended on the packet.

Is biryani healthy or unhealthy?

Biryani often gets a bad rep for being unhealthy! This isn’t always the case. This recipe uses minimal oil and ghee, and instead, adds flavor through a variety of spices and aromatics. It also uses salmon, which is rich in healthy fats.

No dish is inherently healthy or unhealthy – it’s all about how you make it! And of course, everything in moderation is always the best policy.

What to serve with salmon fish biryani?

Biryani is typically served with raita, a vegetable salad dressed with cool yogurt. You can make raita with all sorts of vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, cucumber, and beetroot. Here’s my guide on how to make raita for biryani.

salmon biryani

Ingredients for salmon biryani


I use frozen salmon steaks for this recipe. I thaw them in the fridge overnight, pat them dry with paper towels, and cut them into large chunks before marinating.


There are 3 ingredients I always use to marinate fish – ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, and lemon juice. These 3 items really help to add flavor and get rid of any fishy smell.

On top of that, I season the fish with salt, pepper, and chili powder for some added spice.

Basmati rice

Long grain rice is a must when it comes to biryani. I soak the rice for about 30 minutes before cooking to soften the rice and quicken the cooking time.


When it comes to biryani, I usually use the same set of whole spices for tempering: cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and bay leaves.

Just heat ghee in a pot before adding these spices and frying for about 1 minute to release their flavor.

Tomato + Yogurt

Adding chopped tomatoes and yogurt is my secret for making moist biryani rice that isn’t overly dry! In fact, this salmon biryani is so moist and succulent that my husband who hates raita (I don’t understand it either), can even eat it on its own!

Biryani masala

Biryani masala is a blend of ground spices that adds a lot of flavor to your biryani. You can make this at home, but using store-bought biryani masala (like I do) definitely makes things easier.


Beyond just acting as a garnish, I add chopped cilantro (leaves and stems) as the rice is cooking, so it can impart its wonderfully fresh, citrusy flavors to the biryani.

Once the biryani rice is cooked, I add more on top for a beautiful pop of color.

salmon fish biryani

Salmon Fish Biryani

This salmon biryani recipe is quick & easy to whip up! Fluffy, flavorful rice dotted with succulent chunks of oven-baked salmon is sure to impress! This is the perfect dish for dinner with friends or a casual weeknight meal with your loved ones. Serve hot with raita on the side, and you've got yourself an easy & delicious meal.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 people


For the marinade

  • 2 salmon steaks, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp coarse black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the biryani rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice, washed
  • 1½ cup + 2–3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2  cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • 2 tsp biryani masala
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro


For the marinade

  • Mix all the ingredients, except the salmon, in a bowl and mix well.
  • Next, add the salmon chunks into the bowl and mix until all the salmon is coated well. Allow the salmon to marinade for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/374°F.
  • Arrange the salmon chunks on a lined baking tray and bake for 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside.

For the biryani rice

  • Soak 1 cup of washed rice in 1½ cups water for 20–30 minutes.
  • Heat ghee in a non-stick pot on medium high before adding cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and bay leaves. Fry for about 1 minute. 
  • Next, add the chopped onions and chillies. Sauté until onions brown, around 8 to 10 minutes.
  • On medium-low heat, add tomato, ginger-garlic paste, yogurt, biryani masala, and 2–3 tbsp of water. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Then, add the rice along with the water it was soaking in, salt and half of the chopped cilantro. Mix well and on high heat, bring to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, lower the heat to medium-low, and cover the pot. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed.
  • Next, add the baked salmon chunks into the pot and mix gently.
  • Cover the pot and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, until the water is fully absorbed and the rice is tender.
  • Garnish with the remaining chopped cilantro serve hot with cucumber onion raita on the side.
Keyword salmon biryani, salmon fish biryani


The next time you’re craving biryani, give this salmon fish biryani a try! Or make it for the biryani lover in your family. It’s sure to make their day (and yours too!).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating