Moroccan-style coley (20 mins prep/15 mins cooking depending on size of pan)


This is a tasty North African dish of subtle spices that my boyfriend agrees is blog worthy!  The fish is pressed in to a spice mixture and fried, and the couscous has lots of flavours added to it.  It would go nicely with a big dollop of plain yoghurt and/or tomato salad.  The original recipe (from is with haddock but I went for coley as the cheaper (and more sustainable) option.  You may have noticed I like cheaper options..!

The coley turned out great, all succulent and golden on top.  This is the first time I have used harissa, a smoky, fiery paste that is used a lot in North African dishes, and apparently goes best with fish, chicken or lamb.  You can get it in supermarkets.  Here is a link to more harissa recipes

And here is today’s recipe:


For the coley

4 skinless coley fillets

Salt and pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground coriander

Pinch dried chilli flakes/ground chilli

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter/marge

For the couscous

1 tbsp harissa paste

500ml fish stock

300g couscous

50ml olive oil

1 tbsp raisons

1 tbsp pine nuts

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 large lemon, juice and zest

For the coley, sprinkle the ground cumin, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, chilli, salt and pepper onto a plate and mix together. Press the fish into the spice mixture, until completely coated on both sides.  Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the coated coley fillets for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until crisp and cooked through (the coley is cooked through when the flesh is opaque and flaky).

For the couscous, bring the harissa paste and fish stock to the boil in a pan. Add the couscous and cook for approx 30 seconds until it has absorbed all of the stock, stir then remove from the heat for 5 mins.  Fluff the prepared couscous with a fork, then stir in the olive oil, raisins, pine nuts and parsley. Add lemon zest and juice, then stir until well combined.

To serve, divide the couscous equally among four serving plates. Place one piece of Moroccan-style coley on top of each serving of couscous. Drizzle over some olive oil.  Serve with some plain yoghurt and/or tomato salad if you wish.

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