This Fish Tagine with Potatoes continues our Tagine Masterclass Series. As cooked fish recipes go, this is one of my all time favourites, with its sharp and piquant flavours. I had to point out the “cooked” bit, because I do so love my ceviches!
In today’s fish tagine recipe, we start off with making some chermoula, that delicious North African marinade, to first flavour the fish with. You can click on the link above to read more about chermoula and also for a couple of recipes. Having said that, we will be making yet another slightly different one here, see image, below. Variety being the spice of life and all that!
And to change it up a little, we shall do away with an actual tagine today, and cook the recipe in a deep, wide frying pan or a wide, shallow casserole dish. Anything that measures about 22 cm (9″) and has a depth of about 6cm (2.5″), give or take. With a lid.
All the ingredients in this fish tagine are pretty easy to come by, any firm white fish will do perfectly, although my favourite is monkfish. You can also use cod, haddock or mahi mahi, just to name a few common ones in my part of the world.
Besides the fish, we also have potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and olives. The potatoes are sliced thinly and help to give the sauce some character. In the summer, when beautiful, fleshy and fruity tomatoes abound, I love using a combination of coloured cherry type tomatoes, for a pretty effect. You can go with cherry or regular tomatoes, it really doesn’t matter.
One final ingredient that is optional in this fish tagine, is pickled chilli. I love it, and because I grow chillies every summer, I always have some pickled ones in storage. They are, however, very easy to come by at delis or the Mexican aisle of supermarkets. I find these chillies add a fantastically hot and sour dimension, which I simply adore. You can leave them out, if you like. If you do use them, make sure you get the whole ones, not the cut ones, which will just overpower everything else.
What would you serve this Fish Tagine with?
To many non North Africans, cous cous is probably the go-to carb for tagine recipes. While cous cous is perfect with just about any tagine recipe, as is white rice (brown just doesn’t soak up the subtle flavours), one of the best ways to enjoy tagine dishes is with bread. Whatever bread you have at hand will work: white or brown. Ciabatta, baguette or anything else you love.
In North Africa, when you order a tagine recipe, of whatever inclination, you’re always given Khobz (khubz), the ubiquitous round bread found from Morocco to the other end of the Arabian peninsula. Because let’s face it, tagine recipes don’t come with a whole lot of gravy, you are supposed to scoop up the contents of the tagine and mop up the sauce with the bread in your hand. That’s the best way to enjoy a tagine. Except for this lamb tagine recipe, which was specifically made with my gravy-loving family in mind!
And amazingly, out of hundreds of food photos I have taken in N Africa, not a single one of them shows a full khobz! Never thought to take a photo of the actual bread, just what it was served with, so I’ve only got partial shots! Like the one with Harira, below! Ya know what that means, don’t you? Yep, I’ll have to bake it myself!
There you go, folks, another tagine recipe in your repertoire. If you enjoy this one, you’ll love the seafood one I have planned not too far down the line.
Have a superb weekend, whatever the weather!
- 500 g (just over 1 lb) firm, white fish like monkfish or cod, in bite-sized portions
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1 large onion
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper)
- 1 green capsicum
- 250 ml (1 cup) water
- 16 cherry tomatoes or 3 medium sized ones
- a handful pitted black olives
- 1 tsp salt
- half tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- small handful mix of parsley and coriander (cilantro), finely chopped as garnish (optional)
- 4 whole pickled chillies (optional)
- 1 small handful coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 1 small handful flat leaf parsley (or curly)
- 1 pinch saffron
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1 red chilli
- 3 Tbsp EV olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- half tsp salt
- Place everything into a chopper and blitz to a fairly smooth paste.
- Rub the fish thoroughly with half to 3/4 of the chermoula paste.
- Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Peel and slice the potatoes into fairly thin rounds.
- Peel and chop the onion. It doesn't have to be too fine.
- Slice the capsicums (bell peppers) in half and then into slices, not too thinly.
- When the hour is up, heat the olive oil in your chosen pan on medium heat and sauté the onions for 1 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, capsicums and the leftover chermoula and fry for 1 more minute, stirring and coating the vegetables.
- Add the water, salt and pepper and bring to boil, then lower heat right down, cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until your potatoes are almost cooked. Pierce the thickest one with a knife to check. The potatoes will still have to cook with the fish, so it's ok for them to be a little uncooked.
- Add the tomatoes and stir to mix and leave to cook for 2 minutes.
- Now scoop out half the mixture into a bowl and set aside.
- Add the marinated fish and all its marinade juice into the pan.
- Very gently, stir the fish to coat with the love sauce. Be gentle so as not to break the fish up.
- Top the fish with the potato mix that you took out earlier.
- Scatter the olives all over, followed by the pickled chillies.
- The whole mix should be bubbling, if not, bring to simmering point.
- Then, lower heat right down, and cook for 5 - 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through. This will depend on the size of your fish.
- When done, take the whole dish to your table and serve up with plenty of bread.
Total time does not include 1 hour of marinating time.