It certainly is food time and I'm going to take you by the hand and help you prepare the best Tartoussi Samke Harra in existence. Samke Harra, literally means Hot Fish (hot as in hot & spicy) is a Middle Eastern dish prepared with subtle or major variations from
Samke Harra is a serious and delicious main course. As with any other type of cooking, do not let the long list of ingredients intimidate you. In reality, it's just another simple dish if you put your heart to it.
I also need to point out that Samke Harra is by no means a Ramadan specialty. However, I had to post about it because it was a special request from my friend Cara in
I'm sorry I couldn't post my own photo of this dish because I don't have any and I don't want to keep you waiting.
1 (1-1½ kg fish): a Snapper is great but other firm fish will do
1 large finely chopped onion
5 cloves of smashed garlic
4 finely chopped chilly peppers
2 finely chopped red peppers
8 medium peeled and chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bunch of chopped green coriander leaves
150g of toasted pine nuts & walnuts
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon mixed spices
2 teaspoons dry coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons Paprika
A little nutmeg
2 bay leaves
3 cups water
2 thinly sliced lemons
Step 1: Preheat oven to 175°c. Thoroughly clean the fish inside out with running water . Rub with salt. Remove head and tail , or entirely de-bone as per preference.
Thoroughly clean the fish inside out with running water . Rub with salt. Remove head and tail , or entirely de-bone as per preference.
Step 2: Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan. Add onion, garlic and chilly peppers and sauté just until light brown. Add the red peppers and keep on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and all the spices and continuously stir for 2 additional minutes. Add the tomatoes and water, simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 3: In a large frying pan, heat remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil then sear fish on both sides for 2 minutes each (only skin side). Place in oven in a suitable pan, top with mix from Step 2 and bake for approximately 1 hour or until fish is done.
Step 4: Remove from oven. You may remove bones and inedible pieces of fish entirely by hand before serving or you may present on table as is. Decorate with pine nuts and walnuts on top and green coriander and sliced lemons around.
Serve and Enjoy – Quantities above for 6 to 8 servings (depending on size of fish and appetite of those being served ;-)
A perfect companion to Samke Harra is Sayadieh, check out this recipe here.