Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spiced Fish

Other than canned tuna, we endured an approximately 16 year period of fish-less fare, the main exception being grilled salmon when we visited the States every other summer. It's not that we didn't like fish; in the days of meager imports, the Jordanian market just did not offer economical, easy to obtain, easy to prepare fish options. Thankfully, the times have changed and now we are enjoying a meal of white fish fillets (only a humongous scientific name on the package, which none of us can pronounce) about once a week. Indeed, fish is now less expensive than chicken or beef in the Jordanian market!

Below is my favorite fish recipe. It's not my quickest, easiest fish recipe to prepare--I hope to share a couple of those recipes later--but I think it is the most delicious. And, it makes a beautifully colorful company dish as well. I've tweaked my recipe from

Women's Weekly Middle Eastern Cooking School Class

to make a company size portion so you can halve it for a smaller family or enjoy the leftovers for lunch. I serve it with quinoa (when I have it) but it can also be served with couscous or rice.

Spiced Fish with Chickpeas

2 kilos or 4 to 4 1/2 lbs white fish fillets
7 tsp. ground turmeric
7 tsp. ground cumin
5 tsp. ground cardamon
3 tsp. sea salt
canola oil
About 3-4 cups vegetable stock
3 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 sliced red and green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro/coriander leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1. Combine the spices and salt in a dish and coat the fish with the mixture.

2. Heat some oil in a large pan--rather than a skillet, I use my large teflon-coated cooking pot. I begin with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup oil(a lot less than I thought I'd need to fry fish) but have to add a bit more as I continue to fry the fish. Add the fish, cooking until browned on both sides and tender.

3. Remove fish from the pan and keep warm--I put it in a baking dish in a warm oven.

4. Discard any leftover oil and wipe out pan.

5. Add stock, chickpeas, peppers, coriander, and lemon juice to the pan, simmer, covered about 10 minutes or until peppers are soft.

6. Serve fish on a bed of quinoa (my pick), couscous, or rice with the chickpea mixture. Garnish with more chopped coriander leaves.

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