Arabian Gulf Baked Fish

In the parts of the Arabian Gulf along the coast, fish was consumed frequently as it was easily accessible to people who were historically pearl divers and fisherman. A popular fish in the Arabian Gulf is the hamour. It is quite a large fish with firm white flesh. However, it has been over fished and today is a protected species. This recipe can be made with Sea Bass, Cod or Seam Bream, as I have done here.

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  • 1 whole fish (firm fleshy fish such as Sea Bream) cleaned and scored
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • (if using kiniyot, add 1 teaspoon cumin)
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 cms ginger finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 large onions thickly sliced
  • handful of roughly chopped cashews
  • handful of roughly chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoon BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves
  • 1 large potato thickly sliced

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  1. Rub salt and half of the turmeric over the skin of the fish and let it sit for approximately 1-2 hours. Then wash off the turmeric and pat dry.
  2. Crush together the garlic, ginger, turmeric, salt, black pepper and cumin (if using) until it forms a thick paste.
  3. Fry the onion in the oil until translucent.
  4. Add the nuts to the onions and stir until they get a bit of color.
  5. Then add the BBQ sauce, ketchup and soy sauce.
  6. While simmering, add the thick garlic-ginger paste and coriander and let it continue simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Once cooked allow to cool and stuff the fish with this filling.
  8. Steam the potato slices. Then arrange them on a baking tray prepared with baking paper.
  9. Then drop the onions on top of the potatoes.
  10. Place the fish on top of the potatoes and onions and drizzle some of the fish dressing on top. Bake for about 30 minutes (depends on the size of the fish)
  11. Cut some lemons in half and caramelise them in some brown sugar. Roast 1/4 cup of cherry tomatoes.
  12. When the fish comes out of the oven, decorate with the lemons, coriander, some nuts and cherry tomatoes. Enjoy with a chilled glass of white wine!


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