Award-winning Harissa

Baked and bright

The fiance was coming over the weekend and I’d strict instructions, very Matt Preston-like (MasterChef Australia) actually, “Make me your best meal. I’ve seen and heard so much. Even my folks have been raving about what you make so I’m really looking forward to the weekend.” Whaaaaaaat! Now with an expectation that’s sky-high like this what do you make to please a man who really knows his food? Well, I’ve figured out by now, that it is really simple – you take all of that person’s favourite ingredients, add your touch to them and serve. Yes it is really that simple. In this case all the favourite veggies – broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers and sweet corn went into a quiche with loads of cheese. Yup, there had to be cheese and lots of it. “Oh! And can you make a quiche also?” Did I tell you that there had to be a salad, homemade garlic butter and also a Mango cheesecake, all at the same meal? That’s what you call cooking up a storm, I guess.

I’d a little bit of Harissa remaining and I’d saved it because I knew he would like it. Now I didn’t want to marinate that with tofu or some more chicken, so I looked for our favourite – fish. I found some lovely Basa fillets at the supermarket and I immediately knew that this was going to be a killer combo. Even though you don’t need to marinate fish for too long, I decided to give the Basa at least 12 hours to soak up all the flavours, in addition I also added some cornflour to the marinade which ensured that the fish had this lovely crispy crust.

Baked Harissa Fish

300gms of Basa fillets, cleaned

For the marinade
3 tbsp of Harissa
1 tbsp of thick curds
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp of freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp of corn flour
1/4 tsp of freshly grated lemon zest
Salt to taste
Olive oil

2 tsp of sesame seeds to garnish

Mix all the ingredients together for the marinade and season well.

In a mixing bowl, place the Basa fillets and then add the marinade to this. Mix well ensuring that the fillets are coated all over with this bright orange paste. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until you are ready to use.

Remove the fillets from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature. Grease a baking tray and place the fillets on this, sprinkle some salt and sesame seeds on this. Bake for about 20 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius. Serve hot with a wedge of lime.

Oh so delish… 

* You can add ginger-garlic paste to the marinade instead of the fresh ingredients but let me warn you, the flavours will alter.
* Don’t stick to just baking the fish, you can stuff a whole fish and grill it too and it will be great.
* Again, do something different and try some other variety of fish. I can assure you that this will go well with a Seer fish and I can only imagine how delicious it tastes when it is stuffed into a Mackerel and grilled. Drool!

I’m sending this recipe to Let’s Party: Go Bake it at My Cook Book and also to Chef Mirelle’s Flavours of Morocco event

Okay, I know you’ve been wondering about the significance of the title and what it has got to do with this post. Right? Well, I’d entered the recipe for Grilled Harissa Chicken at the Master Chef contest which was running at Divya’s You too can cook Indian food. And guess what? This recipe was chosen as one of the ‘Best chicken recipes’. I was jumping with joy when I saw this on her blog and couldn’t wait to declare this to the world.

And here’s some of the other awards Divya’s given to every one who participated! Yay!


Leave a Comment