How to Make Fish "Machboos"

Machboos is probably the most popular Bahraini dish and it's definitely my favorite thing to eat...ever! The pressure is definitely on to make this right...otherwise I better toss away my passport!

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How to Make Fish "Machboos" Recipe
28 Steps
Ingredients
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1

First, let's talk about "machboos" : it literally translates to compressed, as everything is compressed by the rice and fish! This could be prepared by any meat you like, today I'm doing it with fish!

2

Let's talk about the fish...it's a popular Bahraini fish called Hamour! Also known as grouper...A beautiful rich white fish! Any other white fish will work but a meaty fleshy fish is best!

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3
Cut up the fish into good palm sized chunks (2-3 oz each)

Cut up the fish into good palm sized chunks (2-3 oz each)

4
Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of turmeric

Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of turmeric

5
Add 2 tablespoons of veg oil to a pot, allow it to heat up on a medium flame

Add 2 tablespoons of veg oil to a pot, allow it to heat up on a medium flame

6
Cover the rice with water and let it soak for 30 or so minutes

Cover the rice with water and let it soak for 30 or so minutes

7
Add the fish skin side down on the hot oil and cook it for 2 minutes on each side, just to brown it

Add the fish skin side down on the hot oil and cook it for 2 minutes on each side, just to brown it

8
Remove from oil and set aside on a plate

Remove from oil and set aside on a plate

9
Add the onions into the same pot with the same oil, stir untill it's a deep chocolatey brown color

Add the onions into the same pot with the same oil, stir untill it's a deep chocolatey brown color

10
Prepare your whole spices in a bowl, except for the dried lime

Prepare your whole spices in a bowl, except for the dried lime

11
Add them to the onions and keep stirring until the onions brown up

Add them to the onions and keep stirring until the onions brown up

12
Once the onions are deep brown, add the garlic and ginger paste, make your own paste or use from a jar, both are fine

Once the onions are deep brown, add the garlic and ginger paste, make your own paste or use from a jar, both are fine

13
After cooking the garlic and ginger for about a minute, add the chillies ( i love spicy food ) and the diced tomatoes.

After cooking the garlic and ginger for about a minute, add the chillies ( i love spicy food ) and the diced tomatoes.

14
Sprinkle salt over the tomatoes and cover the pot and let the tomatoes cook over low heat for 5 minutes

Sprinkle salt over the tomatoes and cover the pot and let the tomatoes cook over low heat for 5 minutes

15
When the tomatoes "melt" into the pot, add a handful (1/4 cup) of chopped cilantro, stir it in

When the tomatoes "melt" into the pot, add a handful (1/4 cup) of chopped cilantro, stir it in

16
Mix up your powdered spices

Mix up your powdered spices

17
Add the spices and stir over low heat

Add the spices and stir over low heat

18
The dried lime

The dried lime

19
Throw it in...(hold the camera steady the next time :))

Throw it in...(hold the camera steady the next time :))

20
Add the hot water and boil over high heat

Add the hot water and boil over high heat

21
Add back the fish and cook it over high heat for about 5 minutes while covering the pot, taste the broth...it should be very salty but that's ok, you will need the salt to flavor the rice!

Add back the fish and cook it over high heat for about 5 minutes while covering the pot, taste the broth...it should be very salty but that's ok, you will need the salt to flavor the rice!

22
Remove the fish and set aside one last time

Remove the fish and set aside one last time

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Add the rice after draining it

Add the rice after draining it

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Mix it in over high heat untill the liquid is absorbed

Mix it in over high heat untill the liquid is absorbed

25
Reduce heat once the rice absorbs the water

Reduce heat once the rice absorbs the water

26
Add the fish back and bury it under the rice

Add the fish back and bury it under the rice

27
Cover and put over a very low flame for 30-40 minutes until the rice grain is fully cooked and well bloomed.

Cover and put over a very low flame for 30-40 minutes until the rice grain is fully cooked and well bloomed.

28
Serve! Forget garnishing it...not for this dish!

Serve! Forget garnishing it...not for this dish!

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