Moroccan fish tagine with chermoula

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 large Or 2 medium sea bass; bream or red
\N \N ; snapper weighing
\N \N ; about
3 \N Lb; scaled and gutted
1 tablespoon Olive oil
2 \N Cloves garlic; sliced
¼ teaspoon Chilli powder
¼ teaspoon Ground ginger
½ teaspoon Paprika
2 \N 13 oz cans chopped tomatoes; drained
\N \N Salt
1 \N Handful green olives
3 \N Cloves garlic; finely chopped
\N \N Peel from a preserved lemon; chopped (see
\N \N ; method)
1 large Bunc flat leaf parsley; chopped
1 large Bunc coriander; chopped
2 \N Bay leaves
\N \N Few sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon Paprika
½ teaspoon Ground cumin
¼ teaspoon Chilli powder; preferably Moroccan
1 \N Lemon; juice of


To make Moroccan preserved lemons, take 4-5 lemons, wash well and cut into 4, but not all the way through. Sprinkle coarse salt into the cuts, close up the lemons and put them in a large jar. Press down, put a weight on top and close the jar. In a few days sufficient juices should be released to cover the lemons. If not, add more lemon juice. Leave for a month before using and use only the skin, discarding the flesh.

Make the chermoula by combining all the ingredients together to make a thick paste. Slash the sides of the fish in a couple of places to help the heat penetrate evenly. Put in a tagine or other ovenproof dish and rub well with chermoula, making sure there is some in the cavity and in the cuts.

Spread the remaining chermoula under and over the fish. Leave, preferably for several hours, to allow the flavours to develop.

Heat the oil and lightly fry the garlic and spices. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and simmer until the mixture has reduced and thickened somewhat. There must be enough to cover the fish.

Heat the oven to 200C. Pour the tomato sauce over the fish. Scatter the olives on top, cover the dish and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size and number of fish. Traditionally the fish is served straight from the tagine. Alternatively, arrange it with the sauce on a serving platter.

Accompany with rice if you wish.

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