Spiced Sardines with Mediterranean Herbed Rice

Almost every member in our house loves fish, whether it’s fried, grilled or made into a curry. My dad loves them so much that he could eat it every day. And sardines are no exception; they are one of my favourites. Whenever I came back home from Singapore for my holidays my mum used to make fried sardines along with kumbalanga moru kachiyathu (ash gourd in yogurt curry), rice and poppadum…they were my absolute favourite home meal. I can’t wait to go back home and be pampered with my mum’s food again!

This recipe has a lovely combination of the Mediterranean and Indian flavours. They are delicious and do not require long cooking, just season and grill/ fry them and your meal is ready.


For the rice

  • 1 ½ cups Basmati rice
  • 3 cups Water
  • ½ tsp Salt
  •  2 tbsp Fresh herbs (I have used Fresh Parsley)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Coriander leaves/ Dill
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • ½ cup Onions (chopped)
  • 1 Red pepper chopped (otherwise known as capsicum)
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

For the fish

  • 2 large Sardines (scaled, gutted & cleaned)
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Olive oil

Spiced sardines with Mediterranean Herbed RiceMethod for spiced sardines

  1. Mix the black pepper, turmeric, paprika, salt, lemon juice in a bowl.
  2. Score the skin of the sardines with a sharp knife and spread over the mixed spices. Keep the sardines in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate.
  3. Rub olive oil on the sardines before cooking them.
  4. You can cook the sardines on the barbecue, in a griddle, non-stick, pan or even on a grill. Make sure the heat is high, and if you use the barbecue you may want to place some foil over the bars to prevent the sardines from sticking to them. I made them in a griddle with some olive oil.
  5. Squeeze some lemon juice over the sardines once they are done.

Method for the herbed rice

  1. To cook the rice first rinse it under cold running water until it runs clear (to remove excess starch).
  2. Soak the washed rice in water for 20 minutes and drain the water away.
  3. Boil 3 cups of water, add the rice and cook it for 10-12 minutes (reduce the heat to low) until the water is absorbed.
  4. Remove from heat and leave it covered for 10 minutes.
  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet, sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked rice, black pepper, fresh herbs and rosemary and stir until well combined.

Serve it warm with the spiced sardines and yogurt.

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