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Moroccan Fish Tagine


  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing

  • 2 celery sticks, chopped

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • ¼ preserved lemon, finely chopped

  • 4 plum tomatoes, sliced

  • 600ml/1 pint fish stock

  • 8 small new potatoes, cut lengthways into quarters

  • 2 red mullet, ocean perch or grey mullet, weighing about 450g/1lb each, filleted

  • 8 black olives, halved

  • 1 tsp chopped fresh coriander

  • 1 tsp chopped fresh mint

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the Charmoula

  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1½ tsp ground cumin

  • ½ red finger chilli, seeded and chopped roughly

  • ½ tsp saffron strands

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 lemon, juice only

  • 1½ tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1.

    For the charmoula, put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

  • 2.

    Heat the oil in a large pan, add the celery, carrot and onion and fry gently for 5 minutes, until softened but not browned.

  • 3.

    Add half the chopped preserved lemon, 2 tbsp of the charmoula, the tomatoes and the stock.

  • 4.

    Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, then add the potatoes. Simmer for 6-8 minutes until tender.

  • 5.

    Preheat the grill to high. Brush the fillets of fish with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and then cut each diagonally in half.

  • 6.

    Grill, skin-side up, for about 6 minutes.

  • 7.

    Stir the olives, the rest of the charmoula and the remaining preserved lemon into the sauce and check the seasoning.

  • 8.

    Put the fish in four warmed soup bowls, spoon over the sauce and sprinkle with the chopped coriander and mint.

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