Living in Savory

Spicy Moroccan Fish with Israeli Couscous

Hello and Happy Sunday! I don’t know about you, but Sundays in our house are usually a day spent getting ready for the coming week, cleaning and overall organizing. So it just makes sense to make a Sunday night dinner that’s both delicious & comforting without the expansion of your waistline. Win-win right???

So, here’s how you put this dish together:


  • 3-4 White fish fillets (halibut, flounder, tilapia, or grouper all work well)
  • ½ cup canola oil, divided in half
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 Pints ripe San Marzano or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Can Garbanzo Beans (aka Chickpeas); Drained & rinsed
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (rough stems discarded)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika, divided in half
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, divided in half
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste), divided in half
  • 3 teaspoon red chili pepper (more or less to taste)
  • ½ cup Chicken Stock

For Couscous: (follow the directions on the container/box….but this is a basic ingredient list)

  • 1 Cup Israeli Couscous
  • 1/5 Cup Water or Chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • other seasonings to taste

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes & bell pepper strips. (You can use any color bell pepper, I used yellow here for contrasting colors). Cook for a few minutes until soft.

Turn down the heat & add whole/chopped garlic and the chickpeas to the tomatoes/peppers. Cook for 2 minutes.

Follow with ¼ of the chopped cilantro, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoons red chili pepper and water and cook with a lid on, stirring occasionally, for approximately 20 minutes.

{side note: I don’t have a lid to fit the pan that I wanted to use, so I just used a piece of aluminum foil to cover the pan. Works every time.}

As the sauce is cooking, in a separate bowl, combine the remaining oil, paprika, turmeric, salt and cilantro. Dip each fish fillet  (I used frozen; thawed flounder this time) and coat well with the mixture. Allow to fish to marinade as the sauce thickens.

After 20 minutes, add the fish to the top of the sauce mixture & cover again — cook for another 20 minutes or until your fish is done (fish will be flaky, but will hold its shape.)

Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon of butter to a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup Israeli Couscous and toss to coat. Allow to toast for 3 minutes.

{Side note: Israeli Couscous or Ptitim is a type of toasted pasta shaped like rice grains or little balls developed in Israel in the 1950s when rice was scarce. You can usually find it in near the rice in your local grocery store)

Add 1.5 Cup chicken broth salt & pepper. Bring to a boil & then turn heat down to a simmer & cover for 8-10 minutes until couscous has absorbed the liquid and is fluffy.

To serve: scoop some couscous into a bowl & top with fish and tomato sauce.


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