Saturday, April 19, 2008

Samak Yemeni (Yemenite Fish in Tomato Sauce)

Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as an appetizer.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups water
  • 16 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish spice, or to taste (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon hawaij (see below)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 scallion, with stalk, chopped
  • 3 pounds firm white-fleshed fish fillets, such as whiting, flounder, or cod, cut into 3-inch pieces
Mix oil, water, tomato sauce, fish spice and hawaij in a large skillet and simmer on a low flame for 15 minutes.

Add scallion to pan. Slide fish pieces carefully into pan, making sure not to break them up. Simmer on a low flame for 15 minutes. Remove from flame and let cool. Remove fish pieces to a serving dish and pour sauce on top. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Fish Spice Mixture:

  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 8 cardamom pods
In a spice or coffee grinder, or with a mortar and pestle, grind spices together finely and store in a tightly closed container.

Hawaij Spice Mixture:
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 4 tablespoons turmeric
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 7 cardamom pods
Follow the same procedure as in the fish spice mixture above.

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