Smoked Rice Water with Aloo Bhorta and Sardines

Serves 4
  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • For the Smoked Rice, rinse rice three times under running water until water runs clear.
  • Place into a rice cooker or small saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and allow steam to evaporate. Cover with ice cold water and set aside.
  • Burn the dried red chilli over open flame until blackened and add to rice.
  • Stir through a pinch of salt and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain rice through a lined sieve over a bowl and reserve the rice and water separately. Discard chilli.
  • For the White Soy Ginger Sardines, dry sardines and place into a dish.
  • Place chillies and half of the ginger into a small food processor and process to a paste.
  • Grate remaining ginger and place into a piece of muslin cloth. Squeeze the ginger over a bowl to collect one tablespoon of juice. Add 1 tablespoon of chilli ginger paste, white soy sauce and honey and mix well.
  • Rub sardines with the mixture, ensuring the cavities are coated also. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place spices into a frypan over medium heat and toast until fragrant. Grind to a fine powder and set aside.
  • When ready to serve, heat mustard oil in a large frypan over medium high heat. Fry sardines until a char forms on skin and flesh is just cooked through to the bone, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Finish with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of ground spices.
  • For the Smoked Potato Mash, boil potatoes in salted water until soft and starting to fall apart. Drain and allow potatoes to cool.
  • Heat ghee in frypan and shallot and garlic. Cook until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Hold dried chillies over an open flame until blackened then set aside.
  • Once potatoes are cooled, knead them gently first by crushing by hand, then working from outside in, lightly knead until lumps are removed potato is bound together well.
  • Add shallots, garlic, chilli, mustard oil, salt and coriander and mix gently. Set aside at room temperature.
  • For the Onion Salsa, combine ingredients in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Crush with fingers to release juices and create a dressing. Set aside in a small serving bowl.
  • To serve, place Panta Bhaat in bowl. Top with a quenelle of potato and top with charred chilli. Place sardines onto a serving plate and garnish with coriander. Serve the salsa and smoked water on the side.

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