Fish Tagine with Couscous

January 19, 2021
White Bean and Leek Stew
February 7, 2021


Serves 8

Prep Time:

20 minutes

Cook Time:

40 minutes total


store in fridge

Advanced Prep:

sauce for fish can be cooked 2 days in advance and reheated before adding the fish


Fish Marinade

2 to 3 pounds white fish such as cod, sea bass or halibut, cut into 2-inch square pieces

3 cloves garlic

juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ cup parsley leaves and stems, divided

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt



2 cups couscous

1 ½ cups water

salt to taste



¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced

6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ -inch rounds

1 red pepper, cut into ¾ to1-inch cubes

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes

½ cup water

1 lemon, ½ juiced and ½ thinly sliced, and each slice cut into small triangles with the peel intact

2 teaspoons harissa powder

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

remaining parsley from marinade to garnish

Preparation Directions

Place the fish pieces into a large bowl. To make the fish marinade, place the garlic, lemon juice, oil, half of the parsley, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and turmeric into the bowl of a food processor and process into a paste. Pour over the fish and toss to coat. Set aside.

Place the couscous into a shallow Pyrex dish and cover with water, use your hands to press the couscous into the water to make sure all of the grains are submerged. Cover with a dishtowel and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Open the can of the chopped tomatoes and use an immersion blender to partially purée the contents, leaving some pieces of tomato intact. Alternatively you can use a potato masher to mash the tomatoes.

Heat a large wide frying pan with sides and a cover, or medium saucepan or medium heat. When hot, add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, or until they are clear. Add the garlic, red pepper and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chickpeas, zucchini, tomatoes, lemon pieces, water, harissa powder, coriander, cinnamon, cumin and kosher salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to low, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the carrots are fork tender. Taste and see if the sauce needs salt and add to taste. It it is isn’t thick, cook uncovered for a few minutes to cook out some of the liquid.

Meanwhile, remove the towel from the couscous and use you hands to massage the grains in a circular motion to separate them, layer by layer. Add a little salt to the couscous and mix in. You can reheat before serving with the tagine.

Gently slide the fish pieces into the sauce, do not mix, cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the fish is just poached and can be flaked, but not dry. Pour the lemon juice on top and mix in gently. Sprinkle the parsley on top. Serve alongside the couscous.