Fish Tagine with Walnut Chermoula

Total Time
2 Hrs, 40 Mins


When this spicy stew is finished simmering and you remove the cover, you’ll be amazed at the aromas that will perfume your kitchen! That’s the preserved lemons which add an exotic flavor. You can buy a jar in well-stocked grocery stores or you can make them yourself. 

Total Time

Prep Time
1 Hr, 15 Mins
Cook Time
1 Hr, 25 Mins
Total Time
2 Hrs, 40 Mins


300 cal
Total Fat
20 g
45 mg
Polyunsaturated Fat
7.5 g
900 mg
Monounsaturated Fat
9 g
Dietary Fiber
3 g
24 g
7 g


Walnut Chermoula
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, fresh, chopped,
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper, freshly ground
  • 3/4 cup California walnuts, roasted, chopped
  • 2 pounds sea bass, cod, black cod, halibut, salmon or other firm white fish fillets, skin and bones removed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, ground
  • Large pinch red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves and stems, fresh, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, fresh or canned, peeled, seeded, chopped
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 lemons, preserved, pulp removed, peel thinly sliced
Quick Preserved Lemons
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 lemons, quartered
Preserved Lemons
  • 8 lemons, thick-skinned, washed
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed, as needed


Walnut Chermoula and Fish
  1. In a blender or food processor, puree the cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, garlic, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper until smooth. Add the walnuts and set aside.
  2. Cut the fish into 2-inch pieces and place in a bowl. In a small bowl, mix together 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, olive oil, cilantro and garlic. Rub the fish with the mixture. Let sit in the refrigerator covered for 1 hour.
  3. Combine the tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoons salt. Place half of the tomatoes, half of the bell pepper and half of the preserved lemons on the bottom of a tagine or heavy stewing pot. Place the fish on top. Top with the bell peppers, then preserved lemons and tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 20 minutes.
  4. To serve, spoon the fish, vegetables and sauce into soup bowls and place a spoonful of the Walnut Chermoula onto the top.
Quick Preserved Lemons
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Boil until lemon rinds are tender, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Preserved Lemons
  1. Cut each lemon into quarters from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom, taking care to leave the four pieces joined at the stem end. Sprinkle the insides of the lemon with salt.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of a canning jar and pack the lemons into the jar, pushing them down and adding more salt as you go. Add the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves between the lemons. If the level of lemon juice doesn’t come to the top of the jar, add extra freshly squeezed juice to almost the top of the jar. Leave some airspace before closing the jar.
  3. Allow the lemons to sit in a warm place for 1 month, turning the jar upside-down periodically to distribute the salt and juices.
  4. To use the lemons, remove from the brine and discard the pulp. Wash the peel and use. Some white crystals will form on the top of the lemons in the jar, which is normal, so do not discard the lemons. They can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated and will keep for 1 year.