Inventive Iftar

25 May 2017
POSTED BY Alvin Thomas

It’s time to start thinking about Iftar and what to serve during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Many families in Oman have their favourite Iftar recipes, and many of these have been handed down over the generations. But with Oman’s multicultural melting pot of flavours and influences, there are recipes from near and far that feature on our Iftar tables, such as India, the Middle East and Asia.

Our Iftar recipe idea today is samak eish, a delicious dish that features one of our most popular fish: hammour. Coupled with green chilli peppers, coriander, cardamom and tomatoes, it’s a delightfully light meal that infuses Indian and Middle Eastern flavours.

Samak means fish in Arabic, and this recipe is perfect to add to a healthy Iftar meal plan.

For more Iftar and Suhoor recipe ideas, go to

Samak Eish


  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1500 g hammour, cleaned and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 medium onion or 125 g, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small green chili pepper, chopped
  • 2 dried limes, cut into halves
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cubes MAGGI® Chicken Stock Bouillon Cube
  • 1 medium tomato or 150g, peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4½ cups water or 1125 ml
  • 2½ cups basmati rice or 500 g, washed


  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil (reserve three tablespoons of oil to cook the rice) and fry the fish pieces for 8-10 minutes or until they become brown in colour and almost cooked (season fish with salt and pepper).
  • Remove and place on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the reserved oil and cook the onion for 4-5 minutes or until it becomes light-brown in colour then add the garlic, chili, dried lime, coriander, cardamom, black pepper and MAGGI Chicken Stock cubes and then stir for one minute.
  • Add the tomato and tomato paste and stir for three minutes then add water and bring to the boil.
  • Add the fried fish to the pot and simmer for five minutes. Remove the fish from the pot and set aside. Add the rice and bring to the boil with constant stirring (add salt to taste). Simmer while covering the pot over a low heat for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
  • Serve the rice on a serving plate and top with the cooked fish pieces.

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