Mackerel Biryani



This is a fantastic go-to supper dish. I usually have most of the ingredients to hand and if I don’t have fresh mackerel it works equally as well with a packet of plain smoked mackerel. I have to say I prefer the fresh fish version, but that’s just personal taste. Ask your fishmonger to prepare the fish for you- those lovely lads down at Ashtons Fishmongers were only too happy to clean and fillet a fresh mackerel for me. This recipe was inspired by a Gousto meal that I had a few months ago but I’ve tweaked it here and there, and changed or added ingredients.

(Serves 2)


1 mackerel, cleaned and filleted
150g brown Basmati rice
1tbsp rapeseed oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp mild madras curry powder
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lime
150g spinach
4cm fresh ginger, grated
1 red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped coriander


Cook the rice according to instructions, drain and cool rapidly by running under cold water. Set aside.

Preheat the grill to full heat.

Line a grill pan with foil and place the mackerel skin side down on the tray. Season with salt and pepper. Grill for 3-5 minutes until the flesh is firm then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Gently heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onion. Cook gently until softened but not browned. Add the chilli and ginger and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Combine the curry powder with 1 tbsp of water and stir into the onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes- this will release the oils from the spices and give the curry a fuller flavour.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the cooled rice, half the coriander and the juice of half the lime to taste (half a lime may be too sharp for some tastes). Combine well and season to taste.

Break the fish into pieces, add to the biryani and heat gently until the fish and rice are hot. Throw in the spinach and stir until it is just wilted.

Allow to rest for a minute or two and then serve, topped with the remaining coriander and a wedge of lime.