With lakes on its western and northern borders, and the sea to the east, Tanzania has a rich inspiration for its fish dishes. This simple treatment of snapper or bream works well.

Recipe from “The African and Middle Eastern Cookbook” by Josephine Bacon and Jenni Fleetwood

Serves 2-3; Preparation time ±2.5hr-overnite; Cooking time ±30 mins

  • 1 large snapper or red bream
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 3 tbsp curry powder
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 heaped tbsp. smooth peanut butter, preferably unsalted
  • ½ green pepper (or capsicum), deseeded and chopped
  • 2 slices fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Abt 600 ml fish stock
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Season fish with salt and pepper and squeeze half a lemon over it. Cover and leave in a container in a cool place for at least 2 hours.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan (or pot) and fry onions and garlic for 5-6 mins.
  3. Reduce heat, add curry powder.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and then peanut butter, mixing well.
  5. Then add green pepper, ginger, chilli and stock. Stir well and simmer gently for 10 mins.
  6. Cut fish into large pieces and gently lower into sauce.
  7. Simmer for a further 20 mins or till fish is cooked. Then using a slotted spoon, transfer fish pieces to a plate.
  8. Stir coriander into sauce and adjust seasoning. If sauce is very thick, add a little stock or water.
  9. Return fish to sauce, heat through and then serve immediately.

Cook’s Tip:
The fish can be fried before adding to sauce, if preferred. Dip in seasoned flour and fry in oil in a pan or a wok for a few mins before adding to sauce.

My Version:
I used about 450 g salmon fillet; in large pieces submerging in sauce and simmering without stirring for about 5-8 mins, till fish is cooked but still pink. Remove fish from sauce to a warmed plate, stir sauce and serve fish with sauce over it.


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