In this delightful recipe, we will guide you through the process of preparing Mahi and Sabzi Polow, a mouthwatering Persian dish that combines fragrant herb-infused rice with tender fish. The aromatic blend of herbs, spices, and saffron creates a tantalizing flavor profile, making this dish a perfect centerpiece for any special occasion or a satisfying meal for your family and friends. Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a memorable Mahi and Sabzi Polow to impress your guests.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 1 pound Mahi-Mahi fish fillets
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 cups mixed fresh herbs (such as dill, parsley, and cilantro), finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- A pinch of saffron threads, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
- Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté until golden brown and caramelized. Remove half of the caramelized onions from the pot and set aside for garnishing.
- In the same pot, add the minced garlic, ground turmeric, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, and ground cardamom. Sauté for a minute until the spices become fragrant.
- Add the chopped fresh herbs to the pot and sauté for another 3-4 minutes until they wilt and release their aroma. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Gently place the fish fillets on top of the herb mixture in the pot. Cover the pot and cook for about 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Once cooked, remove the fish from the pot and set it aside.
- In a separate pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add salt to the boiling water and then add the soaked and drained rice. Cook the rice for about 5-7 minutes until it is slightly tender but still has a bite. Drain the rice and set it aside.
- In the same pot used for cooking the rice, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Spread a thin layer of rice at the bottom of the pot, followed by a layer of the herb mixture and fish. Repeat these layers, alternating between rice and the herb mixture, until all the ingredients are used. The top layer should be rice.
- Using the end of a wooden spoon, make several holes in the rice to allow steam to escape. Pour the dissolved saffron water over the rice, and dot the top with small pieces of butter for added richness (optional).
- Cover the pot with a clean kitchen towel or a tight-fitting lid. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, allowing the rice to steam and the flavors to meld together.
- Once the cooking time is complete, remove the pot from the heat and let it rest, covered, for an additional 10 minutes to allow the flavors
Image by Food & Wine