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Ima’s Borrowed Moroccan Fish

May 8, 2018

by: Pnina Kirchhevel, Bridges for Peace

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Some dishes form part of a family’s legacy. They are passed down the generations from great-grandmother to grandmother to mother, each adding her own loving touch. Others are picked up along the journey of life, as friends, acquaintances and perfect strangers share the recipes they love. My “Ima’s (mother’s) Borrowed Moroccan Fish” falls in the latter category. Her Moroccan friend served us this mouthwatering meal every time we sat down at her Shabbat table. We enjoyed it so much that my Ima was quick to ask for the recipe. Since then, it has become a firm family favorite for Friday nights, one which my mother passed on to me and which I plan to pass on to my daughters one day.


 6 Palm-sized perch (white fish) fillets

¼ c. Olive oil

2 Onions, diced

2-3 Garlic cloves, minced

½ to 1 tsp. Chili flakes

1 tsp. Paprika

2 tbsp. Tomato paste

2 c. Water

1 c. Cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté onions and garlic over medium heat until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the paprika and chili flakes.
  3. Mix the tomato paste and water and add the liquid to the pan.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Arrange the fish portions in the pan and coat each fillet with the tomato and onion mix.
  6. Bring the dish to a simmer, spooning the sauce over the fish portions periodically.
  7. Sprinkle each fillet with a generous helping of chopped cilantro.
  8. Simmer the dish covered for 30 minutes.
  9. Serve with a side of challah, which is perfect to mop up the fragrant sauce.

Serves 4–6

Photo Credit: Amalia Lukash/shutterstock.com

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