Summer's heat is melting everything and everyone that dares to come out. Temperatures will rise even higher this weekend, and it made me think of a wonderful destination: Zanzibar.
We've lived in Tanzania (Arusha) for three years for my dad's work. I was 12 when we moved there, and that was the exact age I became a regular cook at home. I experimented a lot, with some of the most disastrous cakes you can ever imagine and 'accidents' such as a full deep frier falling down which flooded the whole of our kitchen with oil ...
Luckily I also made some good to excellent things. Otherwise my parents would never allow me to continue.
Each year - around my birthday - we had our little holiday on the island Zanzibar. There we enjoyed the arabic tinted kitchen and especially lots of fish.
I very much liked the fish pilau at Dolphin Restaurant in Stone Town. It was a very old building with loads of cracks and an African grey parrot that could talk to the customers and broke down the ceiling. I have such good memories of those holidays!
When we left for Belgium, I missed the spicy dishes a lot. It took me a long time for finding out where to get the right ingredients, let alone to find the correct recipes.
After endless searches on the internet, I found something that sounded about right to me. It's this recipe I took as base for my own Zanzibar pilau.
I meant to make it for the four of us, but after serving it seemed as if I had still enough for at least one or two more people. So keep in mind, when you decide to prepare this for 4 people, that you reduce the amounts :)
Ingredients for 5-6:
- teaspoon of cumin seeds
- teaspoon of black pepper corns
- teaspoon of ground ginger
- half a teaspoon of salt
- cinnamon stick
- ground cinnamon
- 5 cloves
- 10 cardemom pods
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 300 grams rice
- 250 grams tomatoes, chopped
- 1 apple or handful of raisins
- 900 ml of fish stock (1 and a half cube in the water)
- 400 grams (or more if you like) of white fish, diced
- olive oil
- 1 onion
- for serving: a little parsley and slices of lemon
Heat the stock with all of the spices. Once it all cooks, keep aside. Heat a pan and fry the onion, chopped garlic in it with a little olive oil.
Add the fish and turn them around quickly.
Now take all onions, garlic and fish out.
Put the rice in the same pan and stir so that all the rice can get covered in the olive oil.
Pour in two thirds of the stock-spice mixture. Spice things up with salt and some extra pepper (if you like it hot). Let all of it now simmer with the lid on.
Add the apple and/or the raisins and the tomatoes to the rice. After a few minutes, you can add the fish, onion and garlic too.
Check with a fork from time to time so that you can add more of the stock-spice mixture when the rest is soaked up.
When the rice is done, put the pan with the lid in a preheated oven at 200°C.
It's ready when the rice is dried up.