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.



25 Replies to “North African Fish Stew”

  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!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes for sure Julie, our husbands are our guinea pigs aren’t they? I always say I try extra harder some days when I’m hoping to publish a blog, maybe otherwise Id have just stuck with something ordinary, so who gets to sample the results? 🙂 Excited about your trip to Europe, I’m happy for you both. Did you find a cooking class to partake in? Whereabouts are you headed and when? My best experience thus far was cooking with a Jamaican family last week when we learned how to make curried goat and brown stew chicken. It taught us more than just the cooking methods, we were able to break bread under one roof and discuss customs and traditions, and that to me was priceless!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What an amazing experience Loretta! We are excited about our trip to Europe buy haven’t nailed down our itinerary yet. John loves being my guinea pig and like you i’d stick with ordinary if I wasn’t posting to the blog too. I’m so glad you had a great Jamaican trip. You are so good at getting the most from every excursion you take and I love that you share them.


    1. Thanks Mimi, love the North African flavors myself! We had a wonderful cuisine experience in Jamaica last week. I had arranged for us to cook curried goat and learn the right way of cooking it the Jamaican way, and wow, we managed to find someone who was willing to teach us in their home. What a splendid experience that was! Of course, I’ll be posting that on the blog soon. 🙂


    1. I hope you were able to try the dish Carol. I like the larger couscous too, I think they call it Israeli couscous, I use that one a lot in the summer with roasted vegetables and plenty of fresh herbs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will if I can I will have a look for couscous they do have it here so will opt for the larger one…will let you know Loretta 🙂 Thank you 🙂 I have pinned for later 🙂


  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 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We eat a lot of fish, both baked, pan fried or in curries. This stew was new to me, but truthfully it felt like we were eating a curry. I don’t think there was skin on it, they were cleaned and filleted. Sorry for the delay in responding, we were away in Jamaica for a while. I had arranged to have a cooking lesson when we were there. As you know, I love to try to learn other cuisines when we’re out of the country. So this was just amazing, I found a lady who was willing to teach it to me in her home. We made curried goat and brown stew chicken which are very popular dishes in Jamaica. What an experience it was when we all sat down to eat and chat. I’ll be blogging about it pretty soon. Thanks Judi 🙂


      1. Loretta, you just give me lobster, shrimp or scallops and I’d be just fine! Or Tuna, Salmon and Red Snapper. I think it was gowing up in a land-locket state with parents that didn’t fish, so I was never really exposed to most fish.


  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!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes indeed Sandhya…..our husbands are definitely the ones benefitting from all the blog trials 🙂 Oh too bad you could not find the ra del hanout. I’m pretty sure you’d find McCormicks selling it. Or if you have a Marshalls type department store, they sell some great random spices, I always get my saffron threads from there. But like you say, you can make it. Elaine cooks a lot of North African dishes, I’m sure she’ll have the recipe on her blog. When I make pilau, I also add nuts and raisins, it gives it a nice contrast to look at and a lovely sweetness to go with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love going to Marshalls Loretta, but somehow had not gotten any food items there…will check it out! Thanks.
        I also add raisins and nuts in my pullav recipes- love it!


    1. Aww, thanks so much, so sorry for getting to respond this late, we were in Jamaica on a vacation, and what a time I’ve had getting back to the blogging world! But there’s loads to share from our trip, so look out for future posts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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