Chermoula Fish and Chickpea Tagine

, from Issue #77. March, 2018
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Chermoula Fish and Chickpea Tagine

Use whatever fish is freshest on the day, but thicker fillets work best as they hold their shape well. We served ours with a bowl of cooked Israeli couscous tossed with chopped herbs, sliced preserved lemon and toasted almonds.

Serves: 6


800 grams firm white fish fillets (I used monkfish)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
400-gram tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
½ cup water
1 teaspoon honey
chopped parsley to serve
⅓ cup each packed coriander and parsley
½–1 teaspoons chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon each ground turmeric, smoked paprika and sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
zest and juice 1 lemon
⅓ cup olive oil


Chermoula: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. It makes about ¾ cup.

Fish: Cut the fish into large pieces and toss with half of the chermoula. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and cook the fish for 2 minutes each side. Don’t let the spice paste catch and burn. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the onions, chickpeas and remaining chermoula to the pan. Season, cover and cook for 15 minutes until the onions are soft, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water, if needed.

Add the tomatoes, water and honey and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

Nestle the fish into the sauce along with any juices. Cover and simmer until the fish is hot and just cooked through. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish fillets.

To serve: Transfer the tagine to a serving bowl and serve with couscous or warm flatbreads. Serves 6.