Persian fish stew

Persian fish stew
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Cooking time 35 minutes

The aromatic combination of cumin, cardamom, green chilli and turmeric will ensure that this Persian fish stew will go straight into your ‘make again’ list.

This recipe is taken from Mark Diacono’s cookbook Sour: The Magical Element That Will Transform Your Cooking.


  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 whole green chilli, left whole but sliced open
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 whole black limes, pierced a few times with a skewer or knife tip
  • Small bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • Small bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 4 white fish fillets, such as cod (about 700g), cut into largeish pieces
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the spice mix

  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric


  1. Mix together the ingredients for the spice mix and put to one side. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan, add the onions and fry for 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, chilli, tomatoes, tomato purée and 2 teaspoons of the spice mix and cook for 30 seconds. Add the black limes, crushing them slightly to let the sauce in and their flavour out. Then add half of each of the herbs and ½ teaspoon of salt along with 500ml water and bring to a gentle simmer while you cook the fish.
  2. Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture on both sides of the fish with ½ teaspoon of salt and dust with flour. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a frying pan, add the fish fillets and fry on both sides until golden brown. Add the fish to the stew, adding more hot water if needed to cover the fish.
  3. Simmer gently for 5–10 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Serve with rice, the whole sprinkled with the remaining herbs.



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