Recipe: Moroccan-style fish stew

THIS DISH REALLY emphasises everything I love about cooking: a goodie bag of ingredients like chickpeas, tomatoes, fish and herbs cooked quickly to yield a healthy and nutritious meal.  I rarely mention my interest in proper nutrition on my blog and I really should, given it ties in with cooking your own food and sourcing quality produce.

I actually saw (a version of) this dish on a menu during last week's review of the Mussel Inn. It sounded right up my alley and the seed was planted for a tasty mid-week supper. It's always a pleasure popping into my trusted fishmongers, Welch's, for my fishy fix.  Their counter displays and quality of fish on display is always excellent.


  • Look for the eyes to be full and glistening, not sunken and sad
  • Fresh fish should smell of the sea rather than fishy
  • Look for red gills as a sign of freshness
  • If buying fillets, make sure they look juicy with firm flesh
  • Supermarkets are guilty of not scaling their fish so run your fingers over the skin (against the grain) to check.
  • SPEAK TO YOUR FISHMONGER!! They are human after all and are full of knowledge


400g haddock or cod fillet, chopped into chunks
200g mussels, cleaned
1x can, chopped tomatoes
1 tsp tomato puree
2x can, organic chickpeas
1x red onion, finely diced
3x garlic cloves, grated
Knob of fresh ginger, grated
2tsp garam masala
1tsp turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
1tsp chilli powder (or adjust to suit)
150g flaked almonds
1 small glass, white wine
Butter or oil
Sea salt
Black pepper


1) Sweat the onion for 4-5 mins then add the garlic and ginger for a further two mins. Now add the spices.  Stir well then add the tomato puree and cook out for a further minute.

2) Now add the tomatoes, cinnamon stick and a little hot water to loosen.  Add the fish and the chickpeas then cook for 6-7 mins.

3) Meanwhile, add the mussels to a pan then add the wine.  Seal with a tight fitting lid and shake around for a couple of minutes.  Remember to discard any shells that haven't opened.  Strain the juices into the stew. Remove the meat from the shells, reserving a few shells for presentation.

4) Next toast the almonds for  minute in  a dry frying pan.

5) Spoon the mixture into a shallow bowl and arrange the mussels around the bowl.  Sprinkle the almonds and parsley.  You could add a squeeze of fresh lemon, too.

Happy cooking!