North African Fish Stew

If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few years, you will know that I love to dabble in all types of cuisines.  I mean gosh it’s all out there now isn’t it?  Even our wee state of Delaware has a lot going for it in the culinary department.  Mind you, when we first moved to Delaware from Texas in 1987, there were no Indian or Asian restaurants around, ethnic cuisine was hard to come by.   It was even hard to get Indian spices, but now they have mushroomed all over the place.   I will boldly take my taste buds where they haven’t ventured before, so what better way to taste test than to try it in your own home?  So with that, let’s just get to this delicious North African fish stew shall we?  Wow, it sure was a winner in our house.  I always tell my husband he is real fortunate to have a food blogger for a wife, I try and feature different recipes on the blog each week, and he gets to be the lucky recipient of it all.  🙂

It does take a bit of prep work to get the dish to come together, but it’s definitely worth the extra effort and could be a conversation piece at the dinner table for sure.


North African Fish Stew


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted cashews
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium tomatoes – peeled, seeded and sliced crosswise about 1 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds catfish or tilapia fillets cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. In a large deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil.  Add half of the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring until browned, about 8 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.  Add the raisins and cashews to the skillet and cook for 1 minute.  Transfer to the plate.
  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet along with the remaining onion and both peppers.  Cook until softened, about 7 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, ras el hangout and stock.  Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.  Season the fish with salt and pepper and add to the skillet.  Cook over moderately high heat until the fish is cooked, about 5 minutes.
  3. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Put the couscous in a heatproof bowl and toss with the cinnamon and cumin.  Pour the boiling water over the couscous, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.  Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper.  Spoon the couscous into bowls and top with the fish stew.  Garnish with the onion, raisins, cashews and scallions.

How amazing does this bottom picture look?  Believe me, the depths of flavor in this North African fish stew were like an explosion in your mouth.




  1. What a beautiful dish Loretta! Where I grew up we didn’t even have pizza until I was about 8 and we had to drive to the next town to get it. I went to an Asian market this week and had the best time! Several of John’s friends are always telling him how lucky he is for having a food blogger wife. He’s kind and just agrees LOL! We’re headed to Europe Loretta and I’ve been showing John your Switzerland posts!


  2. I love fish but I’m not so sure in a stew – did you leave the skin on the fish? Once I looked at all the ingredients the stew must be so flavorful – I’ve only used raisins to eat fresh or put in baked goods. Knowing you though you probably have picked a winner of a recipe Loretta 🙂


  3. Loretta, I can relate to how far we have come to having access to food from all over the world. For Indian groceries, I used to have a running list for whenever we went to NY city as I could not get much in the Boston area.
    My friends do keep telling my hubby about how lucky he is to be eating what is featured on my blog too 🙂
    The fish stew looks amazing! So many layers of flavor in that stew. I love fish and will try this for sure. I liked the addition of nuts and raisins in it. I have not found ra sel hanout in stores here but will make my own to make this stew!


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