Recipes | 100 calorie monkfish chermoula


100 calorie monkfish chermoula

A main course for 100 calories? Yes, that's possible in Kalpna Woolf's inspiring and original new book Spice Yourself Slim which explores how spices can enhance your diet.

Of course you'll need some veggies too but it will still work out remarkable low in calories.

Kalpna writes: I am always keen to experiment with storecupboard spices to create new and exciting flavours and bring more taste and goodness to my dishes. This marinade is probably one of the most versatile and delicious you can make. The ingredients can vary, but normally, roasted cumin and coriander seeds are mixed with saffron, ginger, garlic, paprika and fresh parsley and coriander.

Chermoula is a powerful combination of taste and spice equilibrium that originates from North Africa, and the mix definitely evokes the smells and tastes of that region and Moroccan souks and medinas. This can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for a few days.

Serves 4

Calories per serving: 102


300g/10.oz monkfish fillets, cut into thick 10–15cm/4–6in chunks

For the chermoula marinade

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds

½ tsp ground paprika

1 tsp chilli (red pepper) flakes or cayenne pepper (optional)

½ tsp finely chopped fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

5–6 saffron threads, soaked in 2 tbsp warm water for 3–4 minutes

juice of 1 lemon, set aside 1 tbsp for the fish

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

a large handful of fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped

a small handful of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped


To make the chermoula marinade, heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and gently dry-fry for 3–4 minutes until roasted and the aroma is released (be careful that the seeds don’t burn). Allow to cool, then grind in a food processor or pestle and mortar into a powder. Place the powder and all the remaining ingredients, including the water from the saffron, in a food processor and blend into a medium-thick paste.

Place the fish on a foil-lined baking tray and spoon over the chermoula paste, spreading it over all sides of each piece of fish. Cover with foil and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 15–20 minutes.

Preheat a grill to medium.

Remove the foil cover from the fish, place the baking tray under the grill and cook the fish for about 8 minutes. When the fish is cooked, squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon over the fish and serve.


Although this recipe is for fish, you can use this marinade for chicken and lamb dishes (if marinating meat, leave the marinade for longer and even overnight to infuse).

For a delicious vegetarian option, marinate a selection of vegetables and roast with the chermoula paste.

What to drink:
I'm assuming you're probably not drinking with this if you're trying to lose weight 😉 but a small glass of dry rosé would be a good match.

Extracted from Spice Yourself Slim by Kalpna Woolf which is published by Pavilion Books. Photography © Clare Winfield. You can find Kalpna's website on

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Comments: 1 (Add)

Bristol Foodie on January 18 2016 at 14:25

100 cals for a delicious main? Guilt free glass to go with it!
Can't wait to try this

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