Chraime (Arabic for “hot”) has a special place in the hearts of Jewish people. Just the smells of this fabulous dish produces memories. In Tunisia, chraime is served as an appetizer for Shabbat (Saturday meal after going to temple) and Rosh Hashana. It’s also became a North African favorite that’s served at any time, and is often found on restaurant menus.
Chraime- Tunisian Fish Stew with Spiced Tomato Sauce
- Large skillet with high sides and lid
- 6 White fish fillets, about 4 oz each (ex: grouper, cod, haddock, tilapia, red snapper, or sea bass
- ⅓ cup Vegetable or olive oil
- 10 cloves Garlic, chopped
- ½ tsp Crushed red chili pepper flakes
- 3 small Hot peppers, chopped (ex: habanero, serrano or jalapeno)
- 6 tbsp Tomato paste
- 2 tbsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Ground cumin
- ½ tsp Each: White pepper (Sub: black pepper), kosher salt
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt (for sauce)
- 1 cup Water
- 1 large Lemon
- ½ cup Cilantro, chopped
- 1 loaf Challah bread, purchased or homemade. Homemade Challah bread recipe
Make Chraime Base
- Add oil to a large skillet with high sides over medium heat, Add chopped garlic and cook until transparent, about 1 minute. Stir in chili flakes, chopped chili, sugar, paprika, cumin, and turmeric. Sauté for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook another minute. Mix in water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add fish on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Scoop some sauce over the fish, cover pan, and simmer over low heat for 10- 15 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Rest fish for 5 minutes with the cover on. To serve: transfer fish and sauce to a serving plate. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle cilantro over. Serve with challah bread for soaking up the delicious sauce.