Yesterday we decided that fish was on the menu for dinner. So then I got to thinking, well what will we have with it? Chips and salad is always a good go to. But yesterday I just didn't fancy it. I felt like a curry, but not a thai-style curry, with lots of sauce. I felt like rice. So, I turned to Dr Google and gave it 'fish + rice + harissa' (we had a fresh jar of Sabato harissa in the fridge), and a number of links came up for various middle-eastern/north African dishes. This one, on a blog called The Spice Adventuress, was for a dish (typical to coastal Yemen) called Sayadiah - fish with rice. Perfect! We made a few alterations to the Spice Adventuress' dish - fennel seeds in place of cardamom, added shredded spinach leaves and toasted sliced almonds to the rice, doubled the tomatoes used - but wow, what a fantastically flavoured dish. I wasn't too sure how it was going to turn out, but it ended being an incredibly moreish plate, which we both looked forward to for lunch the following day. Besseha!!
400 g firm white fish (I used 4 fillets of gurnard, so would use probably 2 large tarakihi or snapper)
2 tbsp harissa paste (it's straight-forward to make your own, of buy a good-qual one like above)
butter - 3 lots, one for fish, one for sauce, one for rice
1 red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic (or 1 large clove), finely diced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 chili, chopped (hot or not, up to you)
4 tomatoes, skin removed and chopped (or we used 2 tomatoes and a couple handfuls cherry toms)
1 zucchini, chopped into small pieces (optional, depending on season)
1 cup long-grain rice (basmati or jasmine)
2 cups boiling water
handful spinach leave, shredded (or baby leaves)
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
- Cut fish into bite-sized pieces. Coat with harissa and stir through some salt. Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour, to marinate.
- Saute onion, garlic, ginger and fennel in some melted butter. Add other spices to pan and stir before adding in the tomatoes and zucchini. Let whole lot burble away until liquid is reduced. We did not reduce it down completely, but left some liquid in the sauce, as we prefer a runnier sauce with rice. Up to you though. Set aside.
- Melt butter in pot you'll use for rice. Coat rice in melted butter and stir through some salt and pepper. With element on high, add boiling water and stir. Continue to stir until water has reduced down as far as the level of the rice. Once the water and rice are at same level in the pot, reduce heat to low, place paper towel over pot and put pot lid on. Leave for 20 minutes then remove from heat. This rice can sit for a good 20 minutes with the lid on, without needing reheating or anything. Stir through the spinach and almond just prior to serving.
- Return sauce to low heat, to warm back through (depending on whether you've cooked the sauce at same time as the rice, or done that step earlier in the day, as I did).
- Fry fish in butter.
- Serve fish on sauce on rice, sprinkled with coriander.