Fish and shellfish k’dra with couscous

Fish and shellfish k’dra with couscous

Fish and shellfish k’dra with couscous

In the coastal regions, this is the king of fish dishes. Prepared in vast quantities for a family celebration, it combines the riches of the sea and the land in one big copper pot. Any firm-fleshed fish such as haddock, trout or sea bass will work here.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste (see page 12)
  • leaves from a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 liters fish stock or water
  • 4–6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 x 400-g tins whole plum tomatoes, drained of juice
  • 2–3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2–3 courgettes, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 kg firm-fleshed fish fillets
  • 450 g uncooked prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 450 g fresh mussels, cleaned
  • 450 g scallops, shelled and cleaned
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • leaves from a small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped

For the couscous:

  • 350 g couscous, rinsed and drained
  • 400 ml of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil
  • 25 g butter, broken into little pieces 

Serves 4–6


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. 
  2. Tip the couscous grains into an ovenproof dish. Stir ½ teaspoon salt into the water and pour it over the couscous. Set aside for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large copper pot, or very large heavy-based saucepan. Stir in the cumin and coriander seeds, turmeric and harissa paste. Add the parsley and pour in the fish stock. Bring the liquid to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, carrots, and courgettes and simmer for a further 10 minutes. 
  4. Using your fingers, rub the oil into the couscous grains to break up the lumps and aerate them. Scatter the butter over the top and cover with a piece of foil or wet greaseproof paper. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes to heat through.
  5. Add the fish and shellfish to the simmering broth and cook for 5–10 minutes, until the fish is flaky, the prawns opaque, and the shells of the mussels have opened (discard any that remain closed). Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in a little coriander.
  6. Fluff up the couscous with a fork and pile it onto a large serving plate in a domed mound. Spoon the fish and shellfish around the couscous and drizzle with a little of the broth. Ladle the rest of the broth into individual bowls and serve immediately.