Getting ready

A tagine is a conically shaped cooking vessel extensively used in Moroccan cooking. The lid fits snugly onto the base and the steam rises in the oven, condenses and falls back into the dish being cooked. The result is that the food does not dry out and is served moist and tender—delicious. Some tagines can be used on the stove top and then placed in the oven and others are placed in the oven after preparing the stew—which is called, guess what? A tagine. If you haven’t a tagine you can use a casserole dish with a lid.  Always cover the dish while in the oven when doing these recipes. Here is a delicious dish, easy to make, brimming with flavour and impressive to look at –guests love the mystique. Serve with cous cous or rice and a nice dry white wine. It has a bit of a bite to it. Actually beer is the best accompaniment but experiment—isn’t that what makes life interesting?

Fish fillets poached in a spicy tomato sauce, an abundance of vegetables and chickpeas.

This Moroccan Fish Tagine is the perfect topping for couscous and it is done in 30 minutes. Delicious and healthy doesn’t get any better. If you don’t have a tagine that you can use on the stove top, prepare the base in a large pan and transfer to the tagine, place the fish fillets on top, cover, and proceed.


Like this

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Smells fabulous



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange & green) sliced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 tsp chilli pepper/cayenne (optional)
  • 2 tomatoes, skinned and diced
  • 1 head of garlic, finely diced
  • 1-2 tbsp harissa
  • 1 small can of chickpeas (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 cup chicken or veg stock
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, washed, dried and roughly chopped
  • 4 frozen hake or cod fillet (or any firm white fish.)
  • A pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • salt (only if needed)

Up close and personal

Instructions for stove top tagine. If using other type do first 4 steps  stove top in a pot

  1. Heat the tagine. Set the tagine on a low heat until warm; once the tagine is warm, increase the heat to a medium-high. If you’re not using a tagine, skip the warm-up on low and heat your pot to medium-high.
  2. Sauté onions & peppers. Coat the tagine or pot with a generous amount of olive oil (about 2 tbsp or more). Add the onions, sauté until translucent, then add the bell peppers. Cover the tagine and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add spices, tomatoe
  4. Add the tomato, garlic & harissa. Once the bell peppers have begun to soften, add in the spices and stir to coat the peppers and bloom the flavours. Cover the tagine and simmer for 3-4 minutes ⏤ if the tomatoes are really dry, add 2 tbsp of water.
  5. Add chickpeas and stock and give everything a good stir. Place everything into the tagine. Cover the tagine for 10 minutes
  6. Time for cilantro & fish– you may wish to adjust the salt at this point. I don’t usually add any salt to the dish since the stock is pretty salty already, but it’s a good time to check. Stir in the cilantro, then place the fish on top of the sauce. Cover and place in a 180 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30minutes check if fish is cooked. If not, put back for 10 minutes—you cannot overcook this type of dish. Scoop some of the sauce on top of the fish and move the chickpeas to the side so the fish can be submerged into the sauce. Cover and continue cooking for 4 minutes
  8. Serve and enjoy.


When selecting your harissa make sure to check the ingredient list. Some brands of harissa are very mild and others are very hot. I used Sambal Ulek instead

If you hate cilantro and it tastes like soap, swap it for parsley.