Cookbook:Tajine bil Samak (Libyan Fish Tajine)
|Tajine bil Samak (Libyan Fish Tajine)|
Tajine bil samak is a delicious and fragrant Libyan fish dish cooked in a tajine, a traditional clay pot with a conical lid. This flavorful dish features tender fish fillets cooked in a tomato-based sauce infused with aromatic spices and herbs. It is a popular dish in Libyan cuisine and is often served with rice or bread.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4–6 fish fillets (such as cod, haddock, or tilapia)
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (adjust according to spice preference)
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground caraway seeds
- Salt to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 cup water
- Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped, for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in the tajine over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent and fragrant.
- Place the fish fillets in the tajine, and cook for a few minutes on each side until lightly browned. Remove the fish fillets from the tajine or skillet and set them aside.
- In the same tajine or skillet, add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well to combine.
- Add the ground cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, coriander, salt, and pepper. Mix the spices into the tomato mixture. Pour in the water and stir until the sauce is well combined.
- Return the fish fillets to the tajine, nestling them into the sauce.
- Cover the tajine with a lid and let the fish simmer in the sauce for about 10–15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
- Remove the tajine from the heat.
- Sprinkle chopped parsley or cilantro on top for garnish.
- Serve the hot, accompanied by rice or bread.
Notes, tips, and variations edit
- Feel free to adjust the spice levels according to your preference. Add more cayenne pepper for extra heat or reduce it for a milder flavor.
- You can add additional vegetables such as bell peppers or carrots to the tajine for added flavor and nutrition.
- Experiment with different types of fish fillets based on your preference and availability.
- If using a tajine, it is recommended to place a heat diffuser between the tajine and the heat source to distribute the heat evenly and prevent the clay from cracking.
- Check the fish for doneness by gently flaking it with a fork. It should be opaque and easily separated into flakes.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the sauce before serving for a tangy flavor.
- For a heartier version, add a can of chickpeas or cooked white beans to the tajine during the simmering process.