Skewered tamarind fish with dried-lime butter and chives

Skewered tamarind fish with dried-lime butter and chives

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

For fish kebabs you need a firm, meaty fish, such as monkfish, rockling, hapuka or blue-eye, or an oily fish, such as swordfish, marlin or even tuna. Dried limes are available from middle eastern food stores and are worth hunting down.


Quantity Ingredient
1.2kg firm fish fillets, skin removed
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
50ml hot water
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
120ml olive oil
1 onion, grated
12 bay leaves
rice, lemon wedges, fresh herbs and arabic flatbread, to serve

Dried-lime butter

Quantity Ingredient
1 dried lime, cracked with a rolling pin
100ml water
50ml verjuice
1/2 lime, juiced
3 sprigs thyme
160g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
2 tablespoons finely snipped chives

Shaved cucumber salad

Quantity Ingredient
2 lebanese cucumber
1/2 cup black basil leaves
1/3 cup tarragon sprigs
edible flowers
1 lime, juiced
60ml extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Remove any stray bones from the fish, cut it into 24 large chunks, and transfer to a shallow dish. Whisk the tamarind paste with the hot water until dissolved, then whisk in the turmeric and oil. Stir in the grated onion and pour the mixture over the fish. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. While the fish is marinating, make the dried-lime butter. Put the cracked dried lime into a small saucepan with the water, verjuice, lime juice and thyme and simmer vigorously over a high heat until the liquid has reduced by half. Strain, discard the solids, then return the liquid to the pan. Add half the chilled butter, then reduce the heat to very low and whisk vigorously until the mixture comes together as a creamy emulsion. Slowly drop in the remaining butter, whisking all the time, until it has all been incorporated. Remove from the heat and keep in a warm place until ready to use.
  3. To make the salad, use a vegetable peeler to shave the cucumber flesh into long strips, being careful not to include any seeds. Discard the seedy core. Tip the shavings into a colander set on a plate and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat a barbecue or griller to high. Thread the fish chunks onto six metal skewers, interspersing two bay leaves on each. Grill for 4–5 minutes, turning a few times to prevent them from burning, and brush with the marinade as they cook.
  5. To finish the salad, combine the shaved cucumber, herbs and flowers in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the lime juice and oil together and pour over the salad. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently.
  6. Pile the skewers onto a warm platter. Stir the chives into the dried-lime butter and spoon over the fish.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again