Serves 6 – 8
Breyani, or Biryani, comes from the Persian word, ‘birian’, which means ‘fried before cooking’. Legend has it that Mumtaz Mahal, the beauty who sleeps in India’s Taj Mahal, created this dish as a ‘complete meal’ to feed India’s armies. Here in South Africa, breyani is a cherished, family meal.
Hake Fillets 800 g
- 1 kg firm white fish
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- 2 – 3 cups (500 – 750 ml) rice, cooked
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 tsp (10 ml) crushed garlic & ginger
- 2 tsp (10 ml) ground cumin
- 2 tsp (10 ml) ground coriander
- Pinch crushed chillies
- ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) turmeric
- 2 tsp (10 ml) fish breyani spice
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 tomatoes finely chopped
- 6 medium sized potatoes, cut into quarters and lightly fried until par-cooked
- 3 hardboiled eggs, peeled & halved (optional)
- Heat 15 ml olive oil in a frying pan. Lightly season fish with salt and black pepper and fry until the flesh is white, then remove from frying pan.
- Heat the remaining 15 ml oil in the same pan and add onions, sauté until golden brown in colour.
- Add garlic, ginger and spices and sauté a further 5 to 10 minutes, adding a little water if too dry. Add tomatoes and allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add the fish.
- Add a tablespoon of oil in the base of a saucepan. Add in half of the cooked rice then alternate with half of the fish and masala sauce.
- Continue with another layer of rice, fish and masala sauce and then a thin layer of rice just enough to cover the fish.
- Lastly end with the potatoes and allow to steam on a low to medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, adding 45 ml water, a bit at a time, during the steaming process to prevent the rice from sticking to the saucepan.