Claudia Roden is without doubt the definitive authority on Middle East cooking. Born and raised in Egypt, her cookbook A Book of Middle Eastern Food is a seminal work. It is a must have for anyone serious about food from this region and this fish recipe is from her updated book The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
What attracted me to this particular dish, other than the speed with which you can prep and cook it, is that it is light and fresh. It also looks stunning when plated.
The recipe takes its cues from North African cuisine. The blend of ginger, saffron and chili makes for an interesting combination of flavors and works well with firm flaky fillets like cod, turbot or halibut. It also works well with a whole fish like red snapper or sea bass.
What You'll Need
cloves of garlic chopped
chili pepper finely chopped
pound ripe tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons
crushed saffron threads
inches ginger root grated
Salt and pepper
In a frying pan on medium heat cook the garlic and chili until soft. (1-2 minutes)
Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, saffron and ginger and simmer for 10 minutes.
Put the fish in the pan with the tomato sauce and simmer on a medium heat until done to your liking. Depending on the fish, fillets take 3-6 minutes per side to cook and a whole fish 6-10 minutes