Saudi Fish Curry (Samak Quwarmah)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 40 mins

This is good especially with Bahraini Sweet Rice (Muhammar) or Rice With Onion (Mashkoul). Originally from, The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos, Gulf States section.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wipe fish dry with paper towels, cut into serving pieces and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cover and leave aside in a cool place.
  2. Heat ghee (oil or butter) in a heavy pan, add onion and fry gently until transparent. Add ginger if using, garlic, chili, baharat, turmeric and cinnamon bark and stir over heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomato, pierced loomi, and water. Add salt to taste and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  4. Place fish pieces in sauce, cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until fish is cooked through. (I use a cast iron pan and take it off the heat at 15 minutes).
  5. Lift fish onto prepared Recipe #405300 or Recipe #418082. Remove loomi and cinnamon bark from sauce and spoon sauce over fish.
  6. Enjoy!
Most Helpful

this is my favorite recipe because it is simple, fast, delicious, reliable - i've been making it for years. the loomi are astounding, hopefully you can get them, otherwise perhaps cooking with a couple whole wedges of unpeeled lime? other than that i do the recipe differently but it is very accommodating ... i did mix up a baharat but i'm sure different variations work wonderfully, even a "curry" powder - i always use a big can of stewed tomatoes coarsley chopped, which is more than the recipe calls for, but it doesn't do any harm and it gives the fish something to cook in. i cook the sauce longer before and the fish for less time (you can even take first out a drop on the early side b/c it continues to cook in the sauce). i add some cilantro for color. but really great, and from a phenom cookbook, thanks!

fizzzy April 14, 2012

My whole family including the children enjoyed this dish.
It was wonderful and it`s whats encouraged me to join so I can access all your recipes.
We shall be trying more middle east and gulf state cooking.
A good alterative for Christmas fare.

5catsnow! December 14, 2010