Salmon, sweet potatoes & Ras El Hanout Tagine


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Serves: Serve 2 people

The tagine is a staple of Moroccan cuisine, simple to make, healthy and above all delicious.

The recipe I share with you today is a sweet – savory tagine of salmon with sweet potatoes.

This kind of sweet and salty fish tagine is very well known in certain Moroccan coastal towns. More precisely the towns of Safi and Essaouira which are known for their “Tfaya” fish tagine.  The « tfaya » is a kind of confit prepared with raisins, caramelized onions with honey, all flavored with cinnamon and saffron.  It is usually used as a garnish for couscous and meat tagine.

 How to make today’s dish?

It’s best to use a tagine pan for cooking, otherwise a cast iron casserole with a lid will be fine.

In the bottom of a tagine dish, sweat the sliced onion for few minutes before adding the coriander and the sweet potatoes cut into rings.  Cover and cook for about 30 minutes before placing the salmon steaks previously marinated in a mixture of lemon juice, honey, saffron and Ras El Hanout.  Cover and cook for 45 minutes, basting the salmon steaks regularly with the sauce.  

Cooking time may seem like a lot to you for fish, but cooking in a tagine allows for stewing which gives the salmon an incomparable softness.

 What is Ras El Hanout?

 The term Ras El Hanout means in Arabic “the head of the shop”, it’s spice blend very well known in Morocco.

 Its composition varies from family to family and from grocer to another .

The mixture usually consists of more than a dozen spices in different proportions.  Commonly used ingredients include: Cardamom, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, white pepper, black pepper, saffron, mace, cloves, anise and fennel seeds.

 Ras El Hanout is most often used to enhance the taste of a dish but it should not be overused.

Basically this mixture of spices is used in meat tagines such as the famous “M’hamer” , most often prepared during Eid Al Adha.

But now it is also used in sauces or soups like this magnificent cauliflower soup in Ras El Hanout and coconut milk, or with a butternut hummus recipe soon on the blog or in baking.

The advantage of Ras El Hanout is not only that it flavours dishes wonderfully, but keeps for a long time and very well. Provided it is placed in an airtight container away from light and air.

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Salmon, sweet potatoes & Ras El Hanout Tagine

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Serves: Serve 2 people

It’s better if you can use a tagine “clay pot “ to cook this dish, if not a regular pot will be fine.

Ingredients :

  • 2 salmon filets or steaks
  • 2 sweet potatoes , medium size
  • 1 onion, medium size, finely sliced
  • small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 250 ml hot water
  • 50 g raisins
  • salt and black pepper

Method :

  • 1)

    First make the marinade :
    Infuse the saffron in 250ml of hot water.  Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the marinade ingredients.
    In a bowl, combine the freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 Tbsp of olive oil, honey, Ras El Hanout and saffron water. Season with salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Place the salmon steaks, cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.

  • 2)

    Once you are ready to cook the salmon, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
    Remove the salmon steaks from the marinade and set aside in the fridge.  Keep the marinade.

    In a tagine or regular pot, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Place the tagine on a low heat, Sauté the finely sliced onion with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes until it becomes the onion slices start a bit translucent.

  • 3)

    Meanwhile, peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 0.5 cm slices.  Then dip them in the marinade. Add a few sprigs of fresh coriander on the onion, then arrange the sweet potatoes.
    Pour the rest of the marinade over the sweet potatoes and onion.

    Cover the tagine and cook for about 30 minutes over low heat, until the sweet potatoes begin to start becoming soft.


  • 4)

    Now add the pieces of salmon on the potato slices as well as the previously washed raisins.

    Cover your tagine and continue cooking for 45 minutes over very low heat. The salmon will not be overcooked it will be just perfect and the sauce will be little bit thick! This is the secret of cooking in a tagine.
    However, remember that it should cook over very low heat; otherwise, you will burn the bottom layer of the ingredients especially because the sauce contains honey.
    From time to time, check on the ingredients, tilt the tagine, and pour some sauce over the salmon and sweet potatoes.



  • 5)

    Serve hot with crusty bread.

    Enjoy !!


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