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+ servings


Sayadieh is a Middle Eastern rice and fish dish with plenty of warm spices and caramelized onions. It's full of flavor and surprisingly so easy to make! Absolutely delicious.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 310kcal


For the onions and the rice:

  • 2-3 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 3-4 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups basmati rice, soaked for 20 minutes and rinsed

For the fish:

  • 2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1.5 lb white fish like cod, snapper, halibut, hammour, filleted, skin removed and cut into large pieces (probably 5-7 pieces) 900 g
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
  • big pinch each salt and pepper

To garnish:

  • toasted pine nuts or almond slivers
  • chopped parsley


For the onions and rice:

  • Heat the oil for the rice in a large pot over medium high heat, then add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions have caramelized into a deep golden brown. This will probably take 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the onions from the pot, and reserve a big handful for garnishing the rice. Place the remaining caramelized onions in a blender, add 1 cup of the water, the cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper, and the tomato paste and blend until a thick sauce forms.
  • Add this sauce to the same saucepan you used to cook the onions, along with the remaining 3 cups of water, and the basmati rice. The liquid should cover the rice by about 1/2 inch or so.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover with a tightly fitting lid and cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat until all the water has been absorbed. Set rice off the heat for 10-15 minutes without removing the lid to steam. Meanwhile, cook the fish.

For the fish:

  • Heat the oil for the fish in a large skillet. Mix together the spices for the fish fillets and sprinkle both sides of fish evenly with the spice mixture. When oil is hot, add the fish to the skillet and cook for a few minutes a side or until white and flaky and cooked through.

To assemble:

  • Place all the rice in a serving platter, making a bed of rice. Add the cooked fish on top, and garnish with plenty of toasted nuts, chopped parsley, and the caramelized onions from the first step that you set aside. Enjoy!


Check the post for a quick parsley tomato tahini salad that goes amazingly with this!


Calories: 310kcal