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Chraime (Aharaime)

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 February 2018 at 08:42
Chraime (Aharaime)

I recently came across yet another North-African Sephardic dish that looks really good; one that will most likely be attempted during Lent, this year.

Author and food columnist Joan Nathan introduced this dish to me:

Quote On my last trip to Israel, I spent a few days at Uri Buri’s Efendi Hotel, renovated from two Pasha’s palaces in the old city of Akko. I had heard of the legendary Uri Buri, a larger-than-life presence whose name is synonymous with seafood and fish.... While we ate, he came to join us, sharing stories about the comings and goings from the port of Akko, from the Bible to modern times.

One of the tastiest dishes was what [he] calls “Uri Buri’s Chraime.” Chraime, also called Aharaime, is a spicy fish dish served by Libyan Jews, and many other North Africans from Tunisia and Algeria, almost every Friday night for Shabbat dinner.

Here is the recipe, straight from Akko:

Quote Uri Buri’s Chraime

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, cut in rounds
8 celery stalks with leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 hot green pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 hot red pepper, thinly sliced
10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika (hot, sweet, or a blend of both)
3 cups fish stock, approximately
2 pounds red grouper, snapper, sea bass, arctic char or salmon filets, cut into 4 to 6 pieces
Pinch of coarse salt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan with a cover and add the carrots and celery. Stir for about 5 minutes then add the hot peppers, garlic, salt, turmeric, and paprika.

2. Add 1 cup of the fish stock and the fish filets, making sure that each piece of the fish has enough room to lie on the bottom of the pan.

3. Add enough stock to cover the sides of the fish, without covering them completely, and bring to a boil. Then, cover and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes or until almost cooked. Check periodically to ensure there is still liquid in the pan. If necessary, add a little more fish stock.

4. When the fish is nearly done cooking, remove fish to a plate. Reduce the sauce, until it becomes thicker, by about half. Then, add the fish back to the pan, garnish with the chopped cilantro, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings
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