1 April, 2013

Samkeh Harra

Posted in : Cold Meza (Mezze Appetizers), Fish, Recipes on by : el Meza

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4720442790_6ee2efe4f6_bSamkeh Harra – Spicy Fish withTahini

This is a tasty recipe with baked fish in a spicy tahini sauce.

Samkeh Harra goes well with sides of french fries and Tabbouli salad.

It can be eaten as well as a cold mezze.


Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Diet tags: High protein

Number of servings (yield): 5

Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern

(5-6 servings)



  • 4 lbs of fresh Red Snapper, filets or whole scaled
  • 17 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of Tahini paste
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • 1 cup of raw pine nuts
  • 1/2 bunch green Italian Parsley (finely chopped for garnish)
  • 1.5 cups Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1-2 tablespoons of salt (to taste)
  • 5-6 tablespoons of ground coriander
  • Olive Oil

Preparation Method

(optional) Rub fish with white vinegar and salt then rinse with cold water in order to tame down any smell.

If using whole scaled fish, cut slits in it.

Rub fish with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle some lemon juice on it. If you’re cooking a whole scaled fish, then insert lemon slices inside the fish for flavoring.

Place fish on olive oil-greased cooking tray and bake at 300 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

In a small pan, mix 1 cup of pine nuts with 1-2 tablespoon of olive oil and cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Be careful as they can burn very fast.

Take half of the pine nuts and grind them with a mortar and pestle and keep the remaining ones for garnishing.

Crush or mince the garlic then add to a pot with 1.5 cups of lemon juice, the Tahini paste, water, salt, coriander and chilli pepper.

Heat on stove to medium/high, stirring constantly (very important so they don’t stick or burn). The sauce should have a rather liquid consistency, and should have a nice balance of Tahini, garlic and lemony flavors. If the sauce is too thick, add a cup or 2 of water and a bit more of lemon juice.

Bring the sauce to a boil while keeping on stirring non-stop and then lower heat, add the smashed pine nuts then keep on cooking on low heat and stirring until you reach about 20 minutes of total cooking time for the sauce.

Once the fish is baked, lay it out on a serving platter that is at least 1 inch deep, pour the cooked tahini sauce on top of the fish, garnish with finely chopped parsley and browned pine nuts, serve hot with pita bread and and a side of Hummus and Tabbouli Salad and enjoy.

Serving and Tips

Sandwich: If you’d like to make a Samkeh Harra sandwich, add the fish + Tahini sauce along the diameter of a pita bread, add lettuce and tomatoes, roll and enjoy!






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