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Fish Couscous W/Onion T'faya (ZWT-9 – Morocco)

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“Entered for ZWT-9, this is the last of 3 recipes from an article at the Eating Well website titled “Healthy Couscous Recipes”. Per the recipe intro: “T'fayas are special-occasion dishes served all along Morocco's Atlantic coast & they are known for their thick, sweet & heavily-spiced sauces. This sauce gets a pleasant layer of sweetness from raisins & a touch of sugar, which marry perfectly w/halibut.” – Do not be intimidated by the visually long ingredient list. It is mostly spicing & other common ingredients. Prep & Cook times were shown as an identical total, but I have allowed an extra 10 min for ingredient assembly & Prep Step 1. Enjoy!”
1hr 10mins
8 Fish & Couscous Servings

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place raisins in a sml bowl & cover w/warm water. Let soak for 10 min, drain & set aside.
  2. Crush saffron & salt together in a mortar & pestle until a coarse powder forms. (Alternatively, place saffron & salt on a cutting board & use the flat side of a chef’s knife to grind into a coarse powder.) Then combine w/ginger, turmeric, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon & pepper in a sml bowl.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil & butter in a Dutch oven over med-heat. Add the spice mixture & cook (stirring) until the mixture starts to foam. Add onions, sugar & the plumped raisins. Cook (stirring occ) until the onions turn light brown (20-25 min). Add 1 cup broth & nestle fish into the onion mixture. Cover & cook until the fish is flaky (8-10 min). Remove from the heat & season w/pepper. Cover & set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, heat canola oil in a sml skillet over med-high heat. Add almonds & cook (stirring) until just beginning to turn golden (about 1 min). Drain on paper towels.
  5. Bring the remaining 1 1/3 cups broth & the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil to a boil in a sml saucepan. Add couscous in a stream. Stir once, cover, remove from heat, let stand 5 min & fluff w/a fork.
  6. To serve: Mound the couscous on a shallow platter. Top w/the fish & onion t’faya & sprinkle the almonds on top.
  7. “INGREDIENT NOTE: The dried stigma from saffron adds flavor & a golden color to a variety of Middle Eastern, African & European foods. Find it in the spice section of supermarkets, gourmet shops & at It will keep in an airtight container for several yrs.”.

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