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Sayadiah (Arabian Fish with Rice)

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Arabian, Middle Eastern


For the fish:

  • Fish fillet any type with firm white flesh – 1 kg, cut into medium sized pieces
  • Harissa paste – 3 tbsp
  • Salt – to season
  • Vegetable oil – for shallow frying

For the sauce/kushna:

  • Red onion – 3 finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves – 2 crushed and chopped
  • Cardamom – 3
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Ground cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Green chilli – 2 chopped
  • Tomatoes – 4 skin removed and chopped
  • Vegetable oil – 4 tbsp.

Other ingredients:

  • Long-grained rice – 3 cups
  • Potato – 2 large cut into slices lengthwise
  • Coriander leaves – to garnish


  • Marinate the fish pieces with harissa and salt. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Shallow fry in vegetable oil and keep aside.
  • Place baking paper in a tray and add the potato slices. Season with salt and oven roast till ¾ ths done (200°C for 20 minutes). Alternately, you can also shallow fry the potato slices, drain and keep aside.
  • To prepare the sauce, heat oil in a pan and add cardamom pods. Add the garlic, green chilli and chopped onions. Saute till onions are light brown and then add turmeric powder and ground cumin powder.
  • Add the tomatoes and sauté till the saucy consistency is achieved. Season with salt and add a little water if necessary but ensure that the sauce is thick and not runny.
  • Cook the rice in boiling water seasoned with salt, drain and keep aside. Make sure that the rice is just cooked so that the grains remain separate and not mushy.
  • In a large pot, add one layer of rice followed by a few fried fish pieces, potato slices and sauce/kushna. Continue the process by adding and building up the layers of rice, fish, potato and sauce. Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Enjoy!