Tag Archives: moroccan

Moroccan Fish Tagine


A healthy and wholesome dish that is now my family’s favorite fish dinner dish.

The Red Snapper I bought for this dish today was too big for the tagine I had planned to use. So I used my dutch oven instead which was the perfect size. The pictures are not the greatest, so I’ll update when I cook this again.


  1. Fish, one whole fish cleaned with salt and lemon and rinsed with cold water. Make three big cuts in the side of the fish to help it absorb the marinade and cook evenly.
  2. Potatoes, 2 medium peeled and sliced thin
  3. Carrots, 2 scraped and sliced in rounds
  4. Onion, 1 large sliced
  5. Lemon, 1/2 sliced and 1/2 lemon for cleaning the fish

Charmoula (marinade)

  1. Parsley, 1/2 cup chopped
  2. Cilantro, 1/2 cup chopped
  3. Tomato paste, 1/2 cup (I used a tbsp)
  4. Olive oil, 1/4 cup
  5. Lemon, juice of 1 1/2 large lemon
  6. Garlic, 2 tbsp minced or smashed in mortar and pestle
  7. Paprika, 1tsp
  8. Saffron, few strands (a small pinch)
  9. Cumin, 1 tsp
  10. Salt, to taste
  11. Pepper, to taste


The Charmoula (marinade) can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for up to two days.

2014_06_05 Moroccan Fish Tagine - 01

Mix all the Charmoula ingredients together in a bowl. Prepare the vegetables: peel and slice onions and potatoes (put potatoes in water while you wait), scrape and slice carrots.

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Clean the fish gently with salt and lemon juice.


Rinse fish under cold running water


Make three or four deep cuts in the fish to help absorb the marinade.


I started by layering everything in a tagine (recently bought a nice one at Le Crueset) and found the Red Snapper we bought today was way too big. So I transferred everything into my dutch oven, also Le Crueset.


Put the fish on top of the vegetables.


Use about half of the Charmoula to marinate the fish inside out. Flip it over and make sure you coat the other side too, then flip it back so the cuts are on top.


Stick sliced lemons into the cuts (It will look much nicer if you make the cuts so the lemon slices are going in the other direction. I will do that next time. ) I added leeks at the end. They were a special request from my kids.


Cover and cook on low heat for an hour. I used a 3 on my electric stove.


Mine was done perfectly in an hour. I served it with steamed rice, extra long grain basmati. It was really good and there were no leftovers 🙂

I made some quick preserved lemons to serve on the side.

Quick Preserved Lemons

This is served as a condiment, just enough for a 4 person meal.

  1. Lemon, 1 sliced (I didn’t use the outer ends)
  2. Juice of 1 lemon
  3. Salt, 1 tsp

In a frying pan, arrange the lemon slices so they don’t overlap. Add lemon juice and sprinkle salt over them. Cook on low heat uncovered for 10 to 15 mins depending on your stove. Once they’re tender and the liquid is dried up, they’re done. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge and serve with any dish for some extra zest.


Lemons after 10 mins. I added a little more juice and cooked an additional 5 mins.



Seven Vegetable Couscous

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We just got back from a trip to Morocco. I fell in love… with couscous! I made some today and it turned out really good.


  1. red onions, 2 medium
  2. chicken, 1 small
  3. lemon, 1 large
  4. vegetables, 2lbs mixed (I used potato, zucchini, carrots, peas, olives in brine) Cut them in half lengthwise for a nicer presentation (I cut them too small this time)
  5. cabbage, 1/2 of a small one
  6. cilantro and parsley, handful of each
  7. ginger powder, 1 tsp
  8. cumin powder, 1 tsp
  9. turmeric powder, 1 tsp
  10. salt, 1 tsp (or more to taste)
  11. garlic, cloves of one head peeled and crushed
  12. olive oil, 3 tbsp
  13. water for boiling and steaming
  14. couscous 2 cups (I will make 3 cups next time because the kids loved it)


I used a large dutch oven but you can use any large pot so long as it heats evenly because this dish is cooked on very low heat. After I heated the pot on high I turned it down to 2 for the chicken and 1 1/2 for the vegetables. I prefer to cook slowly on low heat when I use olive oil which tends to burn easily.

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Sweat the onions in 2 tbsp olive oil on low heat.

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I use a wooden spoon to smash the garlic pods. That way they don’t go flying around the kitchen.

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Wash the cilantro and parsley, remove sticks, and cut the large lemon in half.

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I don’t have a garlic press but I have a mortar and pestle. Either is fine. I add lemon juice in the mortar after the garlic is mashed up.

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Mix the garlic, lemon, turmeric, ginger powder, cumin, and salt. Rub into the chicken and let it sit for a few minutes.

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Add chicken to the now softened onions. Stir to get the chicken coated nicely with the oil and onions. Add enough water to cover the chicken.

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Cover and simmer on low heat until meat is tender.

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Wash and peel vegetables (scrape the carrots). Traditionally the vegetables are cut in half lengthwise but I cut them smaller.

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Once cut, potatoes should be kept in salt water or else they oxidize.

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Remove the cooked chicken from the sauce and put aside.

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The broth will be used for cooking the vegetables and then served with the couscous.

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Soak the couscous in water (I add about an inch over the top of the couscous. Leave for a few minutes and then fluff with a fork and add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil.

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Steam the couscous for 10 minutes, return to bowl, fluff with a fork, add more water and leave to absorb. Then steam again for 25 minutes.

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Repeat the last step and steam another 10 minutes if you like the couscous more tender.

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While you wait… you may as well prepare a cup of Moroccan tea for yourself.

  1. I use a tsp of green tea (per tea glass) in a small teapot.
  2. Pour in boiling water
  3. and after a minute remove one glass of tea and put aside.
  4. Be careful not to swirl or stir the tea up to this point (it will make the tea cloudy)
  5. Add more water to the pot, swish it around (to wash the tea) and pour it out and discard.
  6. Put more hot water into the pot, add sugar, the first glass of tea and fresh mint to the teapot.

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Before pouring add fresh mint to the cup/glass too. With tea in hand… back to the business of couscous.

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Add vegetables to the broth in layers. First potatoes, then carrots, then zucchini, then cabbage and peas. Do not stir. Cook on low heat until tender. A few minutes before they are done, add olives to the mix.

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I don’t have a large round tray so I used my pasta bowl.

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Arrange the couscous in a ring. I really needed more couscous and will have to make 3 cups next time.

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Add the chicken to the center and arrange the vegetables around it on top of the couscous. Add the remaining lemon and chopped cilantro and parsley on top. Serve the broth on the side to be ladled over the couscous.

Seven Vegetable Couscous IMG_2452

I don’t use a lot of salt when I cook. There’s always some sea salt on the table for those who like more.