Tuesday, December 31, 2013

538. Iraqi Herbed Fish Stew

This heavily-spiced and rich fish stew hails from the southern provinces of Iraq.

The south of Iraq has ready access to both river and sea fish, and hence fish stews are more common than in central or northern Iraq.
The stew is very rich and is concocted of a medley of herbs, vegetables, and spices, before lightly fried fish is added.
Although I used fish fillets here, it is more traditional to use fish steaks, which still have bones and skin intact.
I chose to lightly pan-fry the fish before adding it to the stew, but you can skip this step and add it directly to the stew and have a more poached effect.
Serve, as always, with rice on the side.


4 white fish filets (about 600-800g)
5-6 cloves of garlic (chopped or crushed)
2 or 3 dried limes (loomi)
1 large green chilli, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 cup chopped dill, chopped
1 cup chopped coriander, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 1/2 cups hot water
3-4 Tbsp oil

Spice Mix:
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
11/2 tsp salt


Mix all the spices together in a small bowl, set aside.
Saute the onion an about a tablespoon of oil until transparent.
Add the garlic, saute for a minute then add two teaspoons of the spice mix.
Saute for an additional minute then add the loomi, green chili, dill, coriander, and tomatoes.
Saute for about 5 minutes, then add the tomato paste and hot water.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the fish fillets into roughly the size of a cigarette packet, and rub with the remaining spice mix.
Fry the fish in a couple of tablespoons of oil until golden on both sides.
Carefully add the fish to the vegetable stew, and let simmer for 20 more minutes.
Serve with rice on the side.

صحة و عافية


Anonymous said...

Assalama Alaikoum Maryam, this looks like a wonderful and delicious recipe. I cannot wait to try it along with some of your other recent posts. Iraqi food has always been a favourite of mine. Looking forward to more fish and Iraqi dishes from you soon inshallah. Best wishes for the new year. Khadija

Maryam Mohammed said...

Wa Alaikum Alsalam!
Thanks so much Khadija, that's great to hear!
Wishing you blessings and prosperity always.

Sam Demayo said...

Happy and Blessed New Years........loving this recipe..so many rich and aromatic layers of flavors....Nadia

Anonymous said...

Happy and Blessed New Year!..loving this recipe..so many aromatic layers of flavors..Nadia

Maryam Mohammed said...

May all your years be filled with blessings, Nadia.
I hope you try it, and let me know how you like it.

Anonymous said...

Marhaba Maryam...wow! absolutely exquisite!!!!! complex. rich..warming..tangy,, i could go on..,just made this for dinner..again the noomi is sublime here. used the fllliets as well..bet with the steaks..skin and bones its even better( if thats possible).thank you again ..Nadia

Anonymous said...

ps one thing i did differently was after searing the fish, which were fairly thin fillets, i put them in sauce and only simmered them like 7 minutes to 10 minutes to cook through..

Maryam Mohammed said...

Oh that's fantastic! I'm so glad you liked it, and thank you for letting me know :)

Maryam Mohammed said...

That is very astute of you, well done. I found that the stew still needed some cooking after adding the fillets in 10 minutes, so I added another 10.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try this, yum!