Biryani Garnish NO. 2

Preparation info
    • Difficulty


Appears in
Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

By Bree Hutchins

Published 2013

  • About

This garnish is served as a side dish and sprinkled on top of the biryani by the head of the family. It adds a crisp texture to the biryani and a typical salty-sour Sri Lankan flavour from the Maldive fish and lemon. The flavours and textures contrast perfectly with the caramelised onion garnish and help to balance its buttery richness.


  • 80 ml ( fl oz/ cup) coconut oil*
  • 2


Heat the coconut oil in a small wok or heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and shallow-fry for 10-12 minutes, or until the onions are dark brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Set aside to cool.

Using a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder), pound the Maldive fish into a fine powder. Reheat the wok over medium heat an