Mtabbag Simach

mtabbag simach
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An aromatic spicy fish dish, usually shabbout or bunni (river fish of the carp family), with yellow rice and raisins. In just 30 minutes, you can have a feast, one that is truly delicious, satisfying and healthy. Traditionally, the fish is layered with the rice and raisin mix.


The rice:
The Raisin mix:
The Fish:

Step by Step method

Prepare the rice:

  1. In a medium heavy pot (preferably non-stick), put all the rice ingredients, and let them boil, covered, for 7 to 10 minutes over high heat, until all visible moisture evaporates.
  2. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Fold rice gently 2 to 3 times while simmering to allow it to fluff.

The raisin mix:

  1. In a medium skillet, saute onion in oil until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in turmeric and curry powder in the last 30 seconds.
  3. Add the rest of the raisin-mix ingredients, and stir and cook for about five minutes.
  4. Keep warm. 

The Fish:

  1. Skin and fillet the fish and divide into 4 portions.
  2. Turn on heat of the broiler.
  3. Line a shallow baking pan with aluminum foil, and drizzle it with half the oil.
  4. Arrange the fish pieces on the pan leaving space between pieces.
  5. Brush them with half the mustard-honey mix, drizzle with the remaining oil, and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Broil for 5 minutes, then turn over the pieces, brush them with the remaining mustard-honey mix, and let them cook until surface is crisp and golden, about 5 minutes, or until flesh is flaky when poked with a fork.

Putting all together:

  1. Immediately, spread the rice in a big platter.
  2. Arrange the fish pieces on the rice.
  3. And spread the raisin-mix between and around the fish pieces.

Tips & variations

  • To make it simpler by just arranging the fish pieces and the raisins on the rice itself.

  • To make it lighter, broil the fish instead of frying it. Start by cooking the rice, and in the meantime prepare the raisin mix. 10 minutes before serving the dish, start broiling the fish.