Sarah Akhurt’s Saffron Salmon Tagine

Serves: 4 – 6

I found this recipe last year in the online Sainbury’s Magazine.

It really is very good and very straightforward to prepare, especially the night before when the parents-in-law are coming for a weeknight dinner and the mother-in-law is essentially a pescatarian.

Reheat and throw in the chunks of salmon and boom, there is dinner served in record time after you get home from work.

We even prepared this amazing couscous, only needing the hot stock added to it; and only 10 minutes to have this great Moroccan orange and tomato salad if you make the vinaigrette the night before.

It isn’t the most sophisticated tagine I’ve cooked, though it’s a cracking weeknight dinner that ticks all the parents-in-law boxes.



Pinch of saffron strands
300ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 red onions, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp rose harissa paste
500gm mixed colour cherry tomatoes, halved
2 preserved lemons, skin only, finely sliced
1 x 400gm tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
50gm pitted green olives
4 large, skinless salmon fillets, chopped into large chunks
Handful of chopped coriander to serve


  1. Add the saffron strands to the hot stock and set aside to infuse. Heat the oil in a tagine (or shallow casserole/heavy saucepan) and fry the onion for about 8 minutes or until very soft. Add the garlic and continue to cook for a further minute, before adding the spices and harissa paste. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes, stirring.
  2. Add the tomatoes and preserved lemons to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the saffron stock, chickpeas and olives. Continue to simmer uncovered for around 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have started to break down and the liquid has reduced slightly.
  3. Pause here if cooking the night ahead for the parents-in-law and refrigerate. Pour a glass of wine. You’ve earned it.
  4. With the sauce bubbling, add the salmon chunks to the pan, nestling them into the sauce. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 7 – 8 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Season to taste and serve with the coriander.

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