Ben’s snapper tagine with preserved lime and chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 coriander roots, plus leaves to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup (250ml) chenin blanc or other dry white wine
  • 1 preserved lime or 1/2 preserved lemon, flesh discarded, skin finely chopped
  • 2 plate-sized pink snapper, cleaned
  • 400g canned chickpeas, drained

Method


  • 1

    Cover the saffron threads with 2 tablespoons of boiling water and soak for 10 minutes.


  • 2

    Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frypan over medium-high heat. Fry the onion for 5-6 minutes, stirring, until browned and crisp, then set aside to drain on paper towel.


  • 3

    Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, coriander roots, cumin and ginger with a little salt to a fine paste. Combine in a bowl with undrained saffron, tomato, lime juice, wine and preserved lime or lemon. Pour this over your fish and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. In a flameproof tagine or large, deep, heavy-based frypan, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-low heat. Add fish, marinade and chickpeas.


  • 4

    Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 10-15 minutes, occasionally spooning the sauce over the fish, until the fish are cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the fried onion and coriander leaves.

Notes


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Preserved lemons and limes are available from Middle Eastern and gourmet food shops.