One Dish Lemon Fisht

We like to use flathead tails for this dish, but you can use any firm white-fleshed fish. Ask your fishmonger for three large tails and to prepare them so you end up with six fillets. Make sure the skin is left on.

Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 80ml olive oil (4 tablespoons)

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron threads

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 500ml good-quality chicken stock

  • 2 long red chillies, seeded and finely shredded

  • 4 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 6 flathead tail fillets, skin on, but neatly trimmed

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons currants, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 2 tablespoons verjuice (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat half the olive oil in a heavy-based ovenproof pan. Add the onion, garlic and spices and fry for a few minutes over a high heat. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chillies and potatoes. Return to a simmer and cook a further 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the stock is reduced.

Use a sharp knife to score the skin of the fish in a neat cross-hatch pattern and season lightly. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and sear the fish pieces on both sides. Remove from the pan and sit the fish on top of the potato stew. Drizzle on the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Drain the currants and sprinkle them over the fish and potatoes. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes.

Take the pan to the table to serve or divide the potatoes among six warm plates and sit the fish on top, drizzled with lemon juice and verjuice.


Recipe taken from New Middle Eastern Food, by Greg and Lucy Malouf
Middle Eastern food is one of the oldest and most sophisticated cuisines in the world. It’s a cuisine that is subtle, elegant and alluring, using exotic spices such as saffron and cardamom. Discover the joy of Middle Eastern cooking for yourself with the mouth-watering recipes that Greg has created for the home kitchen, as he mixes centuries of tradition with modern techniques and flavours for both the home cook and experienced chef.

You can purchase New Middle Eastern Food at

Published by Hardie Grant


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