Spiced fish with couscous

Spiced fish with couscous


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As this recipe shows, it is easy to make your own spice mix. And the best thing about it is that you can vary the ingredients to suit yourself, so it can be as mild or hot as you like.

Zoë Harpham

Serves: 4 

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 × 180–200 g fish fillets, such as snapper or bream
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • Couscous
  • 1½ cups (270g) instant couscous
  • 2 cups (500 ml) boiling water
  • 40 g butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (40g) slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons reserved spice mix
  • ⅓ cup (60g) currants or sultanas
  • ⅓ cup (20g) chopped fresh coriander
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:45min 

  1. Combine the lemon zest, cumin, coriander, pepper, paprika and salt in a small bowl, mixing well. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the spice mix for the couscous. With the remaining, gently rub the spice onto both sides of the fish fillets and allow them to sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous. In a large bowl, combine the couscous and water. Allow this to sit for 5 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed, then gently fluff with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Set aside, covered, while the fish is cooking.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add the oil and cook the fish fillets for 2–3 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  4. To serve, place a mound of couscous onto each plate and top with a fish fillet. Serve with a lemon wedge to squeeze over the fish.


2 portions vegetables


This is a mildly spiced dish. If you like, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of the mild paprika for some chilli powder for a hotter dish.

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