When I saw this recipe in my Moroccan-themed Kitchen Trotter box, I thought it would be long and complicated to make, but actually it's dead easy and really quick, making it perfect for a midweek meal when you're in a rush. It's not at all spicy so the whole family can tuck in.
4 white fish fillets
1 cup cooked rice
2tbsp tomato puree
1 clove of garlic
1 red or green pepper
2tbsp chermoula (or cumin/paprika/ginger)
1tbsp smen butter (optional - traditonal Moroccan clarified butter from the Kitchen Trotter box)
1tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
Put the fish in a food processor and blitz it for a few minutes.
Put it into a bowl and mix in the cooked rice, the spices, a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and pepper.
Put the oil (and smen butter if using) in a tagine or deep frying pan, along with the garlic.
Toss in the tomatoes (the original recipe said to puree them but I wanted them in soft chunks, which worked really well), tomato puree (I used up the remaining salsa from our soft tacos), some more chermoula and another squeeze of lemon juice.
While the tomato sauce is simmering away, get your hands into the fish mixture and squeeze it into golf-ball shaped balls. As you get near the bottom of the bowl, you'll need to squeeze out the excess water.
By now, the tomatoes should be lovely and soft. Give it all a good stir then add the red or green peppers.
Lay the fish balls on top and push them down into the sauce so that they are half covered.
Put on a lid and cook for 8 minutes then, using a spoon, turn over the fish balls and cook for another 8 minutes.
I served these with chermoula-spiced carrots which worked well. I thought the fish balls would break apart during cooking but they actually hold their shape perfectly. I'm very tempted to try these again using stronger flavoured fish, such as mackerel or salmon, to see how they come out.
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If you want some more Moroccan treats, how about trying Briouates stuffed with Spinach & Meat, Chakchouka, Chicken with Olives & Preserved Lemons or Kefta Meatball Tagine?