Gluten-free | No added fats | Sugar-free | Low carb | Dairy-free
Makes enough for 1 serve
Why it's delicious:
The spice profile of Morocco suits this quick fish dish perfectly. It's aromatic, flavoursome and totally satisfying. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare once the spice blend and saffron water are complete, which makes it a real winner when you are pressed for time but still want to eat something amazing!
Helpful hints + tips:
Ground wakame It’s a great idea to buy a packet of wakame (dried seaweed) from the supermarket or Asian store and grind it until it's small enough to sprinkle. I used a coffee/spice grinder to grind mine, but you can also use a food processor, or you can chop furiously with a sharp knife until the seaweed is in small fine pieces.
Moroccan spice blend: This is a rich, fragrant and well-layered spice blend that lends itself well to fish and meat dishes. I have given you quantities of enough spice mix to store in the pantry for you to go crazy with when you need to add a little zing to your food!
Saffron and star anise water: I used a stock made from gently simmering saffron strands, star anise and roughly crushed cardamom pods. Though not essential for this dish, if you can, make this water in bulk and store it for use in curries and rich sauces.
Saffron + star anise water
- 20 threads (1 pinch) saffron strands
- 1 litre (2 pints) cold water
- 12 star anise
- 2 heaped tbsp roughly crushed cardamom pods
- 4 cinnamon quills
Moroccan spice blend
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 3 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp chilli powder (to taste)
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¾ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 140 g zucchini or cauliflower, cut into chunks
- 100 g firm white fish, cut into chunks
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp ground wakame
- 1 lemon wedge to serve
- Firstly make the saffron water by soaking the saffron strands in 2 tablespoons of boiling water for 10 minutes. In the meantime, bring a small pot to a gentle simmer with the water, star anise, crushed cardamom and cinnamon quills. Add the saffron strands and soaking liquid and turn the pot down to a very low heat and allow the water to cook very gently for 30 minutes to allow the flavours time to infuse.
- Cool the mixture and store it in a covered jar or container in the refrigerator until required!
- Make the Moroccan spice blend by stirring all the spices together and storing them in an airtight jar in the pantry to use when needed.
- For the tagine, measure out 200 ml ( 6.7 fl oz) of the saffron water if using or measure out 200 ml of cold water. mix ¾ tsp turmeric powder into the saffron water until well combined, or if using plain water, mix 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp ground wakame and stir till dissolved.
- Heat a small frying pan on medium heat and add the cumin seeds. Allow the cumin seeds to brown gently for a couple of minutes, then add the zucchini or cauliflower.
- Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally, and then add 4 tablespoons of the saffron water. Allow the liquid to bubble a little, and then add the fish, followed by 2 teaspoons of the Moroccan spice blend. Stir gently to distribute the spices, and then add the rest of the saffron water.
- Allow the mixture to cook for 5-10 minutes until the fish and vegetables are tender and the saffron water has reduced to a lovely gravy.
- Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the lemon zest and wakame, serving the dish with a wedge of lemon on the side. You can also top it with some chopped coriander or fenugreek leaves, like I have done in the image, for additional flavour and goodness.