Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Core Chermoulla Fish Tagine - Moroccan cooking school

Chermoulla is the Moroccan term for "mixed spices". So this is just fish and vegetables cooked with spices

This dish is commonly cooked by Moroccans when they go camping, or to the park.

What fish? Any firm white fish will work. In my cooking class, we all had to use different fish and then had to taste them all at the end. Some were: mackeral, whiting, snook, mulloway, sardines, garfish, dory, whiting, basa, snapper, trevally, king fish, bonito, garfish and barramundi. All were good, with subtle differences.

Pots and methods:
Stovetop = large fry pan or stock pot with lid. You need about 3ocm wide and about 10cm high, more if you add more vegies.
Oven = lidded casserole dish, around 4 litres. Glass would be best to show the layers. If you don't have a lid, cover tightly with alfoil
Slow cooker = no problem. Use about 1/4 less water
Note - there is no reason this can't be scaled down to individual or couple sized serves by using smaller cookware.

Serves: 6

Difficulty: Easy


  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into neat slices just under 1cm
  • 2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into neat slices just under 1cm
  • 2 large brown onions, peeled and cut into neat round slices just under 1cm
  • 3 or 4 tomatoes, cut into neat slices just under 1cm
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 750g firm white fish
  • 1.5 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leaved parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 a preserved lemon (or 2 grated rind of 1/2 a lemon + 2 tsp salt)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2-3 TB Moroccan spices
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cloved of garlic, chopped fine
  • 8 kalamata olives, chopped
  • Optional - a grilled capsicum, sliced fine

In your pot, you need to build neat layers of the vegies in this order: tomato, potato, carrot, onion, peas.
Then lay your fish neatly over the top with small gaps between the pieces. For large thick fillets like barramundi, slice across the fillets to make steaks about 3 cm wide.

Now we made the chermoulla.
In a non-metallic dish, mix cori, parsley, garlic, oil, Moroccan spices, preserved lemon, oil, salt.
The add lemon juice and 3/4 cup water.
Ladle the chermoulla over the fish dish slowly, making sure lots of the green flecks stay on top of the fish.
Add another 1/3 cup water to the bowl, swish to get remaining spices and pour down the side of the dish, trying not to wash down any herbs. The fluid level should be a little below the fish layer.
Sprinkle with olives and grilled capsicum if using.
Put onto stove on medium heat until you start to see bubbles.
Turn down to low, put lid on and leave for 20 mins. Shake pan once or twice with lid on.
Open lid and baste the fish with some of the juices.
Cook another 20-30 mins until vegies are done
Oven - put into warmed oven at 180*C for 45 - 60 mins, baste at half way point
Slowcooker - on low. Would probably need about 3 hours on low. Or use boiling water in the chermoulla and low 60 - 90 mins. Baste at half way point

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 19.5 pts or 3.5 pts each, serving 6

1 comment:

Carin Vernier said...

Yum, Yum, Yum! Lovely, easy recipe. Definitely a keeper.