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Easy Fish Pulao/ Indian Fish Pilaf- Pomfret Fish and Rice


Easy Fish Pulao/ Indian Fish Pilaf- Pomfret Fish and Rice

Fish Pulao/ Indian Fish Pilaf is a yummy, finger-licking good, rice recipe. Do you like easy one-pot meals with rice? There is no denying the fact that chicken and rice is the most popular when it comes to soul-satisfying and filling meals. But if you are a fish lover like me, you will love this pulao. Fish and rice have an affinity for each other and is a comforting meal. It is just like your favorite fish biryani, but a milder version. This delicious fish pulao/pilaf is no- fuss, homey weekend meal.

My ideal weekend meal would be a one-pot meal, and if you are like me, this dish is a perfect example of a quick meal.  The first time I tasted a fish pulao/Ilish Pulao was in Calcutta. Ever since I, have been trying different versions, but I guarantee you this one is the easiest of all. The fish pieces are fried till golden before adding to the rice along with earthy spices to make a fragrant pulao. The rice gets cooked in the fried fish oil along with a delicious tomato masala. A little coconut milk adds an extra layer of flavor and richness to the rice. 

Fish pulao doesn’t call for any side dish. It is best when served with some spicy pickle and yogurt/ raita and salad. If you have guests top it with a few fried fish pieces and crispy fried onions, and toasted nuts. Bone-in fish steaks hold up well for pulao especially, king fish, pomfret, and Indian mackerel. Tuna, salmon, halibut, seer fish are all great options. This fish pulao can be prepared in a jiffy and is irresistible. Do try this recipe, and let me know, how it turned out for you.


Fish Pulao is very simple to make. Use any fresh firm-fleshed fish like pomfret or Kingfish. This pulao is versatile, and you can make countless variations with it. What you add is totally up to you. Get creative and add vegetables like carrots, green beans, and peas. Try adding prawns, crab meat, calamari along with boneless fish for a mixed seafood pilaf.

The rice is flavored, with earthy spices and ghee. Coconut milk adds more flavor to the rice, but it is optional. Do not discard the oil in which you fried the fish. Use the same pan to make the tomato masala. The best rice to liquid ratio is 2:1. To cook the rice mix, water, and coconut milk or add fish stock for delicious flavor.

Easy Fish Pulao/ Indian Fish Pilaf Recipe


Fish- 1 kg
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder- 1 tbs
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice- 1/2 lemon
salt to taste
Oil for frying- 3 tbs

For the rice
Basmathi rice- 3 cups
Tomato puree- 1 cup
Sliced onion- 1 medium
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbs
Chopped carrots- 1/2 cup
Green chilly- 2
Coriander leaves chopped- 1 tbs
Chilly powder- 1/2
Turmeric powder- 1/8 tsp
Garam Masala- 1/2 tsp
Coconut milk- 1/2 cup
Chopped Almonds and Cashew nuts- a few
Whole Masala- Clove- 2,Cinnamon stick 1 piece, cardamom-2
Lemon juice- 1/2 tsp
Ghee- 1 tsp
Salt to taste  

Marinate the fish pieces with turmeric powder, chilly powder, pepper powder, salt, and lemon juice. Let it marinate for 10-15 minutes. Soak rice for half an hour, drain and set aside.
Heat three tbs of oil in a heat bottom pan and fry the fish till it is crispy and golden on both sides. Drain from the oil and set aside. Take two or three pieces of fish and carefully remove the bones and scramble the fish. Set this aside.

In the same pan, add a tbsp of ghee and add whole spices and fry on a low flame till there is a nice aroma. Add the sliced onions and saute till golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw flavor disappears. Add tomato puree, and saute till the masala is cooked, and oil separates. Add the scrambled fish  and chopped carrots along with chilly powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala. Cover and cook on low flame for two minutes. Add the rice, coconut milk, and water along with salt. Cook till the rice is almost done. At this stage layer, the fried fish on the top, and sprinkle coriander leaves. Cook on a very low flame for 4-5 minutes. Open the lid and fluff the rice. When it is time to serve sprinkle, toasted nuts of your choice. Serve warm with pappadam, pickle, and raita or yogurt. Enjoy!

You might also like,

Kerala Fish Biryani
Zesty Fish Curry With Vegetables- Thirutha Fish Curry
Kerala Style Fish Masala Roast
Blackened Tilapia
Vietnamese Fish Cakes

Try it,

Hope you will all enjoy!



  1. I love pomfret and haven't had them in a long while...this looks like a really tasty and delicious meal.

  2. What a fabulous recipe! So easy and tasty! I’ll definitely be making this one again!
    Thank you so much for the recipe!

  3. fish pilaf looks so tempting and makes me drool..perfect one pot meal !!

  4. Your presentation looks tempting, perfectly fried fish! love the spices used and the color of the fish. Recipe looks straight forward and easy, Thanks for sharing this two in one recipe.

  5. awesome recipe... looks so delicious... you have plated it beautifully!


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