The Magic Within

Cod Fish Tagine
I have obviously underestimated pregnancy. Miserable is probably a word too despondent to describe it, but there are moments that it describes perfectly my state of mind. On better days, I couldn’t help but laugh when Boo twists and turns, and from the outside, it appears as if there’s a worm crawling just underneath my skin. I also found reason to be all the more active during pregnancy – it knocks me out and sleep has never been as deep.

Anyway, this dish is rather like a sanity saver. Easy, check. Every day ingredients, check. Fish, check. Vegetables, check. It is nice to be eaten on its own, with couscous or sliced baguette, whatever that knocks your socks off. Any firm fish will do (like snapper), but I use cod fish.

Oh btw, I like to grate my tomatoes. The fastest and easiest way to get crumbly tomato flesh, sans skin & mess. You can also use the shock method (boiling water then ice cold bath, peel, scoop out the seeds before chopping them or using food processing). Easier still, use bottled tomato sauce.

(adapted from Maroc, Les meilleures recettes)
serve 3-4 as side, if accompanied by couscous, rice or baguette

500 gr fresh, ripe tomatoes – grated
1 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp smoke paprika powder
2 tsp ras el hanout
1 tsp harissa
1.5 green bell pepper, sliced about 1 cm thick
1 small eggplant, sliced to 2 cm coins, then quartered
600-700 gr fresh cod, sliced thickly (about 4 cm)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & black pepper
coriander leaf,
parsley leaf,

  • In a deep pot, over small to medium fire, heat up the onions. Sautee until translucent before adding the tomatoes, garlic, smoked paprika, ras-el-hanout & harissa. Season with salt & black pepper.
  • Let the mixture cook for another 1-2 mins before adding the bell pepper and eggplant.
  • Add enough water to just cover half of the vegetables. Gently stir and cover the pot. Let cook for about 15 mins, till vegetables are soft. A little bite is fine.
  • Gently dig small holes and drop the fish flesh inside. Cover the fish with sauce & vegetables. Cover the pot and cook additional 10-15 mins.
  • Gently stir, taste & adjust the seasoning. More salt is needed if you’re serving it with couscous, rice or baguette.
  • Sprinkle with coriander and parsley. Serve immediately.

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