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Samke Harrah Al-Sahara

1 snapper or other baking fish
salt to taste
1/2 cup olive oil for frying
6 flakes -- (12 g) garlic
salt to taste
15 grams coriander leaves -- chopped fine
1 cup tahini -- (sesame paste)
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 grams hot chile pepper
1 tablespoon snoober -- (pine nuts or walnuts)
lemon wedges and coriander sprigs for garnishing


CLEAN and scale the fish, wipe dry with paper towels. Slash body in two places on each side. Sprinkle inside and out with salt. Cover and refrigerate for one or two hours. Pat dry before cooking Heat the oil in a large frying pan (reserving one tbsp. oil for later use), and fry the fish on high heat for a few minutes each side. Do not cook through. Remove from oil and place in a baking dish. Pound garlic flakes with one tsp salt, and mix in coriander leaves. Tip most of the oil out of the frying pan, leaving about two tbsp. Heat the oil and add the garlic mixture. Fry quickly until the garlic is crisp without being burnt. Cool.

Place tahini in a bowl. Beat well, then gradually add water, beating constantly until the mixture thickens. Gradually beat in the lemon juice and stir in the garlic mixture and chile pepper to taste. Add more salt, if necessary.

Pour the sauce over fish in the baking dish, covering it completely. Bake in a moderately hot oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and the sauce is bubbling While the fish cooks, heat one tbsp. oil kept aside in a clean pan and fry the pine nuts until golden brown. Lift the cooked fish onto a platter and spoon the sauce on top. Sprinkle with pine nuts and garnish with lemon wedges and coriander. Serve hot.


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