March 14, 2010

Samkeh Harra (Boiled fish with spicy sauce)

Lately I have developed an immense interest towards Middle Eastern food and I wanted to try my hand in Lebanese cuisine. After few online search, I came across Bethany's Blog. Bethany has a wonderful collection of Lebanese dishes. Especially her explanation with pictures are really helpful. When I was going through her blog one recipe caught my attention, which is Samke Harra. I made few minor changes to the measurement, but that wont make a big difference. I basically prefer more spice and less oil in my dishes.
Samke Harra is a Middle Eastern fish entree. There are so many versions of Samke Harra. But I followed the Samkeh Harra Traboulsieh, where white fish is boiled and a spicy gravy is prepared with ingredients like onions,coriander,garlic,thaini etc.
As for the type of fish, any white fleshed sea fish is good. I used golden pompano which is similar to mackerel, but has a stronger flavor. They have a oily texture and taste buttery. They are available all seasons. Tahini is a common sauce in most of Middle Eastern food. They are made with sesame seeds and oil. The flavor of sesame seeds is improved by roasting. This gives them a distinctive nuttiness. Tahini sauce can be made at home or bought in store. This is an amazing dish which is not very hard to prepare although it seems like it is.

Preparation time:20 mins
Cooking time:30

3 tbsp oil
500g cooked white fish,flaked
1 cup onion,sliced lengthwise
1 cup bell pepper,sliced lengthwise
1/3 cup coriander leaves,finely chopped
4 gloves of garlic,finely chopped
1 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
1 bay leaf,fresh or dry
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp all spice powder
1 tsp pepper
4tsp tahini sauce, store bought or home made
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup pine nuts,roasted
salt to taste

1. Heat a wok with oil and fry onions and capsicum till they are cooked. This takes about 5-10 minutes in medium heat.

2. Grind chopped coriander and garlic together. Add it to the wok
and mix well.
3.Add tomato, bay leaf, chili powder, hot sauce, all spice powder and pepper. Cook until oil separates, it takes about 10-15 minutes on medium heat.

4. In the mean time, make the tarator sauce with 4tbsp of tahini,lemon and water. Mix well and add it to the thick sauce.

5. Add roasted pine nuts. And cook it for 5 minutes.
6. Serve them over warm, flaked white fish.

Home made Tahini Sauce:

7 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp water,to thin down

1.Blend sesame seeds,water,oil to a thick paste. Use 4 tbsp for making tarator sauce.
2.For the use of this recipe, always blend with water first, then add lemon juice. This makes the sauce whiter.
( I perfer home made version because the flavour is so fresh. But if you dont want to go through this hassle I would suggest a store bought )

NOTE: I prefer using very less amount of oil, but you can add more or less to your taste.
VARIATION: The fish that I used was Golden Pompano. You can use cod fish too.
STORAGE TIME: Tahini sauce can be made in large quantiy and stored in freeze. It can be used in other Mediterranean dishes like hummus, tartar sauce etc. The spicy sauce used in this dish can be cooked in advance and reheat before serving.


Tina said...

Looks very delicious and attractive...

PJ said...

i love lebanese food and this looks like a delicious dish with the tahini tartar sauce. Thanks for stopping by my blog, you have a wonderful space here with many delicious recipes that I'll be sure to come back for more. happy blogging!

Sushma Mallya said...

quiet interesting one, and nice step by step pics as well

Deepa Raman said...

i found ur blog through another blog..nice recipes out here...if u like indian interiors then view my page...

Madhuri said...

Looks delicious. adding peanuts would give some rich taste

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Hi, this is my 1st time here, I followed via Collaborative curry to here, you have many wonderful recipes here, am sure will come back more often ..

nisha said...

Cool new recipe ,would love to try this one sometime.