Fahad Inc. Dishes

    Matchboos / Fogga sa-mak ~ Fish and Rice

    The secret to a good matchboos is the texture of the rice and the amount of spices used. The ingredients I suggest here are, to my mind, the perfect combination, but less spice maybe preferable to other tastes. The Bedouins use no spices other than loomi or bezar, thus it is personal choice.
    An ideal accompaniment - and my personal favourite - is to serve a side dish of tomatoes and green chillies which have been chopped in the blender with salt. The local people would also eat fresh seasonal herbs, raw sliced onion with salt and lime juice sprinkled over. Dates are a must with the traditional dish.

    1 large tuna or mackerel (3-4 lbs; 1.5-2 kgs) cut into steaks
    3 onions thinly sliced
    6 cloves garlic crushed
    3 fresh tomatoes chopped
    6-8 curry leaves
    2 teaspoons turmeric
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    a few cloves
    1 teaspoon tomato paste
    salt to taste
    bezar to taste
    1/2 cup corn oil
    3 cups rice

    Wash and soak rice in water for two hours. Rub fish steaks in salt and bezar. Fry in a little oil on both sides until brown. Remove, place on a plate and leave to one side. In the same oil, fry onion, garlic and spices. Brown and add loomi, the remaining ingredients, then the fish. Adjust seasoning - it should be a little on the salty side so the rice will eventually absorb it. Add 4 1/2 cups of warm water and boil gently for 15 to 20 minutes with the lid on.
    Remove lid and add drained rice carefully. Do not stir. Cover again and reduce heat to simmer for around 10 minutes. Remove lid and stir once. When most if the liquid has been absorbed, cover with a damp cloth to absorb the moisture, then replace the lid securely. Keep the pan on a very low heat, shake the pan after 10 to 12 minutes, the after 20 minutes, turn the heat off and leave to set, with the lid on, until ready to serve.

    From the book "The Complete United Arab Emirates Cookbook"
    by Celia Ann Brock- Al Ansari
    Copyright © 1994 by Celia Ann Brock-Al Ansari


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    Maintained by: Fahad Al Mahmood