Fish Couscous With Onion T’faya Recipe

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Photo: Fish Couscous with Onion T’faya Recipe

The Lebanese Recipes Kitchen (The home of delicious Lebanese Recipes and Middle Eastern food recipes) invites you to try Fish Couscous with Onion T’faya Recipe. Enjoy the Middle Eastern Cuisine and learn how to make Fish Couscous with Onion T’faya.

T’fayas, special-occasion dishes served all along Morocco’s Atlantic coast, are known for their thick, sweet and heavily spiced sauces. This one gets a pleasant layer of sweetness from raisins and a touch of sugar, which marries perfectly with halibut.

8 servings

Active Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour


1/2 cup raisins
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
8 saffron threads, (see Ingredient Note)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 large onions, (2-2 1/2 pounds), very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, fish broth or vegetable broth, divided
2 1/2 pounds Pacific halibut, or other firm white fish, skinned and cut into 2-inch wide pieces
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 cup whole-wheat couscous


Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with warm water; let soak for 10 minutes. Drain.
Crush saffron and salt together in a mortar and pestle until a coarse powder forms. (Alternatively, place saffron and salt on a cutting board and use the flat side of a chef’s knife to grind into a coarse powder.) Combine with ginger, turmeric, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper in a small bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and butter in a Dutch panggangan over medium heat. Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring, until the mixture starts to foam. Add onions, sugar and the plumped raisins. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn light brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and nestle fish into the onion mixture. Cover and cook until the fish is flaky, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with pepper. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until just beginning to turn golden, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels.

Bring the remaining 1 1/3 cups broth and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to a boil in a small saucepan. Add couscous in a stream. Stir once. Cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

To serve, mound the couscous on a shallow platter. Top with the fish and onion t’faya and sprinkle the almonds on top.

Tips & Notes

Ingredient note: The dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron adds flavor and golden color to a variety of Middle Eastern, African and European foods. Find it in the spice section of supermarkets, gourmet shops and at It will keep in an airtight container for several years.


Per serving: 464 calories; 18 g fat ( 4 g sat , 9 g mono ); 54 mg cholesterol; 39 g carbohydrates; 37 g protein; 6 g fiber; 702 mg sodium; 839 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Magnesium (36% daily value), Potassium (24% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fruit, 4 lean meat, 2 fat

From EatingWell: September/October 2008

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