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Bites Fil Beit Ramadan: Fish Sayadeya - Daily News Egypt

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Bites Fil Beit Ramadan: Fish Sayadeya

Ramadan offers a whole new challenge to cooking Egyptian food. The breaking of the fast, Iftar, is the main menu of the day and consists of an array of dishes. Traditionally the meal starts with juice, to prepare the stomach for the feast that is to come, and a savoury soup. Appetisers are up next, followed by a main course and a sweet dessert completes the meal. Iftars are meant to be shared and inviting your close friends and family for a home-cooked dinner-cum-breakfast can be daunting. But not to worry; during the month we will be giving you suggestions for full menus with a complete recipe for one of the dishes. Happy Ramadan!


  • Drink:             Amar el Din
  • Soup:               Seafood soup
  • Salad:              Tehina
  • Main course: Fish sayadeya                                                                                                                            
  •                            Fish Rice
  • Dessert :          Atayef with nuts

Fish sayadeya


1 kilo fish, bluefish or grouper – mi-as or wa-ar
2 tbsp cumin – ka-moon
½ tbs fresh ginger, crushed – gan-za-beel
1 tbs curry – ka-ry
1 tbs coriander – koz-ba-ra
6 garlic cloves – toom
3 onions medium size, chopped – ba-sal
2 lemons, juiced – la-moon
2 tomatoes, juiced – ta-ma-tam
½ cup water – ma-ya
salt and pepper – malh and fil-fil


  • Clean and wash the fish well.
  • Mix the cumin, ginger, curry, coriander, onions, garlic and water in a food processor.
  • Pour half of the mix in the bottom of a medium casserole. Put the fish on top of the layer and add the rest of the mix on top of the fish, covering it completely.
  • Heat the oven on medium heat (200 C). Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked well
  • Serve the fish in the dish with rice on the side.

An alternative way to prepare fish sayadeya

  • Clean and wash fish well.
  • Cut into steaks of 1.5 cm thick or use ready cut fish steaks.
  • Fry the onions in oil over medium heat until just brown. Make sure to not over fry.
  • Fill ¾ of a deep pan with water (about 8 cups) and put over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to boil.
  • Add fish steaks to the pan and leave to boil for 10 minutes until fish turns brown.
  • Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Put 4 cups of onions sauce in a medium deep, non-stick pan over medium heat. Wash rice well and drain.
  • Add rice and stir until water is almost absorbed.
  • Cover, move to low heat and leave to cook for 20-25 minutes.
  • Serve rice on a platter and arrange fish slices on top or serve separately.
  • Put remaining sauce in a serving bowl and serve as soup.


  • You can fry the fish steaks instead of boiling them in onion mixture. In this case reduce the quantity of water to 4 cups.
  • When the water boils, add the rice and follow the rest of the steps as stated.

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