Fish Couscous

Recipe by mersaydees
READY IN: 2hrs 10mins




  • Make a fish stock by placing the fish heads and vegetable trimmings, salt, cayenne and 5 cups water in a large pan.
  • Simmer stock for 20 minutes, then strain and reserve.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the couscous for steaming. Place grains in a large bowl with 2 1/2 cups water. Stir well and set aside for 10 minutes. Fluff up the grains between your fingers to get rid of any lumps. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the oil.
  • Heat remaining oil in a large heavy pan and saute the onions until golden. Add the celery, carrots, turnips and the stock, adding water, if necessary, to make up 2 quarts.
  • Make the tabil: pound all tabil ingredients in a mortar, then dry in a preheated oven at 200 degrees F for about half an hour. When very dry, grind to a fine powder (keeps up to 4 months if stored in an airtight container).
  • Stir in the saffron, 1 1/2 teaspoons tabil and salt to taste. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the remaining vegetables.
  • Place the couscous into a steamer, or in a colander lined with cheesecloth to fit on top of the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes. Check the liquid level and add more water if necessary, keeping it at a steady simmer so that the steam penetrates the couscous.
  • Add the fish to the stock and simmer until cooked, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Turn the couscous out into a large bowl, breaking up any lumps with a fork.
  • To make a hot-tasting sauce, take out a ladleful of stock and stir in harissa, or paprika and cayenne, to taste.
  • Serve the stew on top of the couscous or separately.