Step-by-step guide to making Aysh Mohammar Ma Rubyan Mashwi or classic Emirati rice

Step-by-step guide to making Aysh Mohammar Ma Rubyan Mashwi or classic Emirati rice

Rice made with date syrup, spices, and malleh or fermented fish, and shrimps

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This rice recipe has three components that need to be cooked separately to finally come together. They are the rice, malleh and shrimps. Here is the list of ingredients of all three components with a guide to making this seafood Emirati rice, at home.


  • 400 gms basmati rice
  • 4 pods cardamom
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter or ghee
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 tbsp date syrup
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsp Bzar (Emirati spice mix)
  • 50 gms roasted pine nuts
  • 100 gms malleh (Fermented dried fish)
  • 150 gms tomatoes
  • 50 gms ginger
  • 250 gms red onion
  • 20 gms turmeric
  • 70 gms garlic
  • 2 to 3 green chillies
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10 pieces shrimp
  • 10 gms turmeric
  • 5 gms black pepper
  • 10 gms cumin powder
  • 5 gms dill leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon
Ingredients Clockwise: Turmeric, malleh, cardamom powder, ginger julienne, chopped tomatoes, green chillies, garlic, vegetable oil, chopped onions Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Step 1: In a pre-heated cooking pot, add ghee or clarified butter. Allow the ghee to melt then add 5 to 6 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, few cardamom, 3 bay leaves and rice. Mix it well.

Add cloves, cinnanmon stick and bay leaves Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Note: Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. This accelerates the absorption of water into rice and allows for a faster cook time.

Step 2: Add bzar spice and date syrup to the rice along with hot water.

Step 3: The water should begin to boil in a few seconds. After a boil, reduce the flame and cover the pot with a lid. Let the rice cook on a low flame while you prepare malleh and prawns.

Add water
Add water to the rice and bring it to a boil Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Preparing and cooking Malleh: 

Dried fermented fish - Malleh Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Step 4: Since malleh is dried and fermented, you need to remove the excess salt by washing it with water atleast three to four times. Then add it to boiling water and cook for 30 minutes.

Step 5: In a heated pan, add clarified butter or ghee and let it melt. Then add garlic and sauté until it starts turning slightly brown in colour.

Add garlic
Add garlic into the pan and sauté Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Step 6: Next, add onions and sauté until it begins turning golden. There is no salt added in this step because the malleh is salty by itself.

Add onion
Add onion and sauté until the colour changes slightly golden Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Step 7: Add turmeric, bzar and cardamom powder to the sautéd onions and give it a good mix. Then add chopped tomatoes and whole green chillies.

Note:You can skip adding chillies if you do no want it to be spicy. Adding whole green chilly does not make the dish spicy but the heat absorbs its flavour well. Later, you can remove the green chillies as well.

Marinate shrimps

Marinate Shrimps
Marinate Shrimps Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Step 8: Empty cleaned prawns into a bowl. Sprinkle salt, cumin powder, turmeric powder (for colour), some dill leaves and a dash of lemon juice.

Step 9: Mix them well and let it rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Marinated shrimps
Marinated shrimps Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Step 10: Going back to the sautéd onion, add the dried fish or malleh to it and mix well. If you like the flavour of coriander you may add some now. Doing this will also help get rid of any fishy odour. Mix them and let it cook for about 30 to 45 seconds and turn off the flame.

Step 11: Add the cooked malleh to the rice. You can put clusters of the cooked malleh on top of the rice and skip mixing it all together. Cover the lid of the rice pot.

Add malleh to rice
All malleh to rice, you can leave it in small clusters instead of mixing it Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Step 12: In a pan, heat some oil and add the marinated shrimps. Sear or sauté the shrimps for 1 to 2 minutes until each side turns slightly golden. Turn off the flame and keep the seared prawns aside.

Sear the shrimps
Sear the shrimps until both sides turn orange in colour for about 1 to 2 minutes Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

In a plate, spoon the rice and place the shrimps on top of it. Serve it hot and enjoy.

Place the shrimps on rice
Place the shrimps on rice Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

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