Serves 4 to 6
1 whole sea bass, about 2kg, descaled and cleaned
200ml vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
100g plain flour
1⁄2 tsp cumin
1⁄2 tsp allspice
1 tsp turmeric
1⁄2 tsp saffron
220g short-grain rice
220g long-grain rice
50g pine nuts
100g almonds, blanched
Tahini sauce, to serve
1) Wash the sea bass, pat dry with kitchen towels and then cut into four pieces, keeping the head and tail attached.
2) Heat 50ml of the vegetable oil in a large pot over a medium- low heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3) In the meantime, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Dip the fish pieces in flour and place them in the pan, in batches if necessary. Fry the fish until browned on all sides, then transfer to a plate lined with several layers of paper towel. Reserve 75ml of the frying oil.
4) When the onions are ready, increase the temperature under the saucepan to high and pour the frying oil over them. Add the cumin, allspice, turmeric and saffron, season with salt and stir to combine. Pour in 750ml water and bring to the boil, then add all the rice and cook on high for five minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the rice is al dente.
5) While the rice cooks, skin and debone the fish. Set the flesh aside.
6) Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat for one to two minutes. Once the pan is hot, add the almonds and pine nuts and reduce the heat to low. Shake the pan continuously until the nuts begin to brown, about one or two minutes. Remove the nuts from the pan immediately – they will burn very quickly – and set them aside.
7) To serve, transfer the rice to a serving plate and top with the bass and the nuts. Serve immediately with the tahini sauce on the side.