Chermoula, Tomato & Fish Tagine


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

My Street Food Kitchen

My Street Food Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2015

  • About

The aromas of cinnamon and other spices permeate the streets in Morocco, from the market stalls to the footpaths. Tagines are made streetside in individual clay pots that bubble away for hours, making dreamy smells for passersby. Essaouira, a windy seaside town, is where I encountered this light stew. After eating a lot of lamb in Marrakesh it made a refreshing change.

Preparation: 20 Minutes, Plus 30-60 Minutes Marinating
Cooking: 25 Minutes


  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) firm white fish fillets such as tilapia, swordfish, halibut or barramundi cod
  • 150 g ( oz) small new potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cm ( inch) piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • ½ small piece preserved lemon, pith discarded, skin rinsed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (concentrated purée)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) fish or vegetable stock
  • Steamed couscous, lemon wedges and chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve


  • 1 large handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves and stalks
  • 2 teaspoons ground hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves


To make the chermoula, process all the ingredients with a pinch of salt in a blender until smooth.

Cut the fish into large chunks and put it in a non-metallic dish, pour on half the chermoula and stand for 30-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until tender. Drain and set aside.

To make the tagine base, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ginger, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the remaining chermoula, preserved lemon, tomato paste, cherry tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the fish and cooked potatoes to the saucepan containing the tagine base and cook for 5 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through. Serve the tagine, sprinkled with extra coriander, steamed couscous and lemon wedges.