This herby rice dish, served with fish, is a traditional food served for New Year in Iran. I thought the rice was going to come out horribly overcooked, because it is basically cooked twice, but it was perfectly al dente and packed with flavour.
This recipe used the big bag of Sabzi Polo herbs from this month's Iranian-themed Kitchen Trotter box, which is a blend of chives, parsley, dill, coriander and fenugreek.
Sabzi polo mahi
300g basmati rice
25g sabzi polo herbs
4 white fish fillets
300g potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
2 cloves of garlic
a couple of large knobs of butter
a squeeze of lime juice
Rinse the rice then leave to soak in cold water for half an hour. Rinse again (to be honest, I'm not sure all this rinsing and soaking served any purpose whatsoever !) then put on to cook in boiling salted water until slightly undercooked. Drain, rinse in cold water and reserve.
Melt the butter in a large pan. Turn off the heat so you don't burn your fingers. Cover the bottom of the pan in thin slices of potato. Chop the cloves of garlic into large pieces and scatter over the potatoes.
Mix the cold rice with the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Tip the rice onto the potatoes and cover with a lid. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes then lower and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
Mix the flour, cinnamon and curcuma (I used cumin instead) on a plate. Add salt and pepper and thoroughly mix.
Use the flour mixture to coat the fish fillets on all sides.
Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan and fry the fish for 3-4 minutes on each side on a medium heat until beautifully golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside.
Serve the fish with the rice and some of the golden brown slices of potato from underneath. I'm not sure you're actually supposed to eat the potato, but it was too lovely to discard ! It's a nice dish but we felt that it could do with a bit of oomph - maybe some lime juice/zest on the fish or a sprinkle of chilli in the rice. I was a bit scared of the vast quantity of herbs that went into the rice but it wasn't overpowering and had an almost spinach-like taste in the end.
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