If you like Claudia Roden's Arabesque then you'll love The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. At 513 pages she covers every region of the Middle East.
I was happy to find a small Middle Eastern Market near my house(with an African Market and an Eastern European Market across the street!). I stocked up on a few things mentioned in the book. I didn't find Argan oil but there's a large Middle Eastern Market downtown that may carry it.
For this dish I bought a can of harissa instead of making my own. The homemade is probably much better but I was feeling lazy.
She warns that the fish is spicy but I didn't find it particulary hot. Then again I'm not a wimp when it comes to spices. I think I may up the harissa to 1 tablespoon next time I make this.
I loved the mint with the carrots. I didn't have dried mint but I had some fresh that had to be used quicly so I chopped the rest of it up and added it at the last minute.
Here's a tip. If a recipe calls for a small amount of tomato paste I take what I need and put the rest in a ziplock, smash it flat and freeze. Whenever I need another small amount of paste I just break off a chunk. I did this with my canned harissa too.
Peppery Hot and Garlicky Fish-L'Hout Hraimy
The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
1 whole head of garlic peeled
2 tsp tomato paste
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 teaspoon harissa(recipe to follow if you want to make your own)or buy a can.
or you can sub 1/2 tsp ground chili pepper
juice of one lemon
2 lbs fish filets(I used cod)
puree the garlic in a food processor. Add to skillet with tomato paste and stir in oil and the rest of the ingredients except the fish. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Add the fish and cook over low heat 3-10 minutes turning once until done(mine took about 6 minutes)
Makes 3/4 to 1 cup
2 oz dried hot chili peppers stems and seeds removed
4 peeled garlic cloves
1 tsp ground caraway
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
Soak the peppers in water for 30 minutes until soft. Drain and pound with the garlic, spices and a little salt in a mortar and pestle, or blend in a food processor adding just enough oil to make a paste. Press into a har and cover with oil. It keeps for many weeks in the refrigerator if covered with oil.
Carrots in Oil-Jazar bi Zeit
1 lb carrots peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tbs dried mint
2 tbs olive oil
Put the carrots in a pan and cover with water. Add salt and simmer until tender about 20 minutes. Uncover and let liquid reduce(I poured most of it out) Add garli, mint and oil and cook a few minutes more.
A Tunisian version calls for 1 tbs tomatoe paste in the cooking water.