This is a recipe from Tangier, once known as Carthage. If Hannibal had defeated Scipio Africanus, its citizens might have ruled the world. Do not be alarmed by the amount of garlic in this recipe. Uncut garlic has a gentle, milky flavour and texture when cooked. Just be careful not to cut the cloves until they are cooked and you will be agreeably surprised.
Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and gently fry the green pepper, tomato, chilli and garlic cloves, taking care the garlic cloves remain whole. Add a little salt and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the beans and the water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Place the fish in the sauce, making sure it is immersed in the liquid, and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, uncovered, until the fish is cooked. Check the seasoning.
Serve with couscous and salad.
© 1996 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.