Vine leaf baked whole fish with sweet-savoury rice

Vine leaf baked whole fish with sweet-savoury rice

Middle Eastern
30 mins Prep · 30 mins Cook

It’s best to soak the saffron for as long as possible before using it. Soaking overnight definitely yields the best results

Created by Spinneys
Prep time 30 minutes
Marination time 30 minutes or longer
Cook time 30 minutes
Serves 4
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Diet Family Friendly
Preparation Moderate
Nutrition (per serving)
Calories 829
Fat 14.4g
Saturates 1.5g
Protein 30.4g
Carbs 145.7g
Sugars 41.6g
Given the cook-at-home nature of Spinneys and natural variations in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details

Cooking Instructions

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Soak the saffron in rose water for at least 30 minutes.


Crush the garlic and finely grate the ginger. Juice the lemon.


To make the marinade, mix together the garlic, ginger, b’zar (or fish masala), turmeric, pepper, 1 tsp of salt and lemon juice in a small bowl.


Gut the fish, pat it dry with a kitchen towel, then make two or three diagonal slashes across the flesh on both sides. Rub the fish with a little salt inside and out, then set aside for approx. 5 minutes.


Dividing it evenly, rub the marinade all over the fish, inside and out and into the slashes. Put the fish into a dish and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes, or longer if you have the time.


Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.


Lay out the vine leaves, making sure they overlap each other, on a clean counter and place the fish on top. Wrap the fish in the vine leaves and secure it with string.


Place it on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for approx. 20 minutes or until cooked through and the leaves are crispy.


While the fish cooks, wash the rice three times and rinse until the water runs clear.


Smash the cardamom pods. Place the date syrup in a large pot, along with the water, cardamom, cinnamon stick and the rest of the salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat, cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and place a tight-fitting lid on top of the pot, set aside to steam for 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat. When the rice is done, sprinkle the hot oil over the rice and sprinkle the saffron-rose water all over. Use a fork to mix and fluff up the rice.


Place the rice and fish on a serving platter with some fresh coriander and serve hot.