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fish ball tajine

In challenge on February 18, 2010 at 2:21 pm

you may recall that i got him a tajine for christmas. although he’s used it several times, this was my first, inspired by this recipe for tunisian fish ball tajine. i don’t know what makes it tunisian, but it was delicious served with couscous and plenty of cilantro.


you start by grinding your spices in a food processor – 4 tablespoons cilantro, one medium onion, 3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon cumin and salt. you are supposed to add harissa, but i didn’t know what it was, didn’t have any and it sounded spicy, so i substituted 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. (tunians around the world probably hate me right now for missing the whole point of the recipe and bastardizing their culture.)



then you add one and a half pounds of firm white fish (i used cod) and grind that up, too.



one of the things i liked about using the food processor was that it ensured the final product wasn’t chunky – just light and airy.

next, add one and a half cups of bread crumbs (i used dried, but it probably would have been better to use fresh) and one lightly beaten egg.


here the recipe wants you to fry up some of the fish and taste it for seasonings. this is a step i skipped!

shape your fish balls, and set aside while you make the broth.


in a tajine (or dutch oven or similar), sautee three more minced garlic cloves in oil. then add 14 ounces of tomatoes (i chopped whole ones and added the juice as well, the recipe called for crushed), another tablespoon of tomato paste, 1 1/2 cups clam broth or water or a mix and salt and pepper to taste.


bring to a boil, then add the fish balls and return to a simmer.


slap on the lid and cook for 20 minutes, turning once.


curiously, the recipe noted that the fish flavor was very mild. i disagree, but since i love fish, i thought it was delicious.


mine seemed more delicate than the ones in the original blog picture, so after a few reheatings they started to fall apart a little, but that is my only complaint (and probably my own fault for using dried bread crumbs…)

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  1. goodness, gracious, great balls of fish!

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