Moroccan 'Fish' Balls with Tomato Sauce and Freekeh Salad

Delicious Moroccan 'fish' balls with tomato sauce — an incredibly delicious dish. Served with fresh and tasty freekeh salad and pistachio dukkah.
Moroccan 'fish' balls with tomato sauce and freekeh salad

Some really special recipes here for you today.

First, a Moroccan ‘fish’ balls with tomato sauce by inspiring Chef Avital Sebbag.

I had the great pleasure of attending an incredible Shabbat dinner at her house during my time in Tel Aviv earlier in the year–one of the warmest family meals.

Great conversation, generous and warm company, and a huge and delicious vegan feast.

Chef Sebbag is author of the book, Five seasons in the kitchen, Zen inspired vegan cooking.

These vegan “CHRAIME” fish balls were served as a starter, and were so delicious I wanted to recreate them at home.

Luckily, Avital sent me the recipe (which I’ve tweaked just a little because of the availability of some ingredients).

It’s absolutely delicious, a gorgeous rich tomato sauce with light ‘fish’ balls.

Avital told me that the recipe is a vegan adaptation of the Moroccan dish his mother used to make every Friday night with Fish. I’m sure you’ll love them.

My second dish (to accompany) is a big freekeh salad – also inspired by one of my experiences in Israel.

During the Vibe Israel vegan food tour we spent an educational, not to mention delicious morning with Food Historian Uri Mayer-Chissick. We foraged for herbs, baked fresh bread, learnt about fermentation, and ate the most incredible fresh food.

One dish was Freekeh with greens, which I’ve not really cooked with before, but I loved its smoky flavour and nutty texture. Again, I wanted to create my version.

So I’ve made a big freekeh salad with cherry tomatoes, tons of herbs, tossed in a pomegranate molasses dressing, then topped with pistachio dukkah and green cashew sauce.

It’s a flavour and texture explosion.

Enjoy, love Niki xx

The Recipe

Moroccan 'fish' balls with tomato sauce and freekeh salad

Moroccan ‘Fish’ Balls with Tomato Sauce and Freekeh Salad

Delicious Moroccan ‘fish’ balls with tomato sauce - an incredibly delicious dish. Served with fresh and tasty freekeh salad and pistachio dukkah.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
4-6 servings
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For the freekeh salad

  • 2 cups freekeh
  • 6 cups water
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 3 Spring onions sliced
  • Big handful mint
  • Big handful coriander
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Big pinch sea salt

For the salad dressing

  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Pinch sea salt

For the green cashew tahini sauce

  • 1/4 cup cashews soaked for at least 3 hrs
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • Handful coriander stalks included
  • Handful mint
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water

For the pistachio dukkah

  • 100 g raw unsalted pistachios
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 or 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes

Recipe for 20 Vegan “CHRAIME” fishballs–which is a Moroccan dish

  • 2 packs of firm tofu
  • 3 Nori seaweed sheets
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of coriander
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 spoon black pepper
  • 1 tsp spoon turmeric
  • 6 to matoes chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 bottle of quality pasatta
  • 1/4 cup of a high quality olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper


To make the freekah salad

  • First, cook the freekah by–combine 2 cups cracked freekeh, 6 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 15 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.
  • Allow to cool, then add to a large bowl, then mix in all the fresh ingredients.
  • Pour over the pomegranate dressing, toss to combine.
  • Finally, drizzle with a little olive oil and a big pinch of sea salt.

To make the pomegranate salad dressing

  • Add all the ingredients to a jar with a lid, shake to combine.

To make the green cashew tahini dressing

  • Add all the ingredients to a mini chopper or blender and blitz to a smooth dressing.

To make the pistachio dukkah

  • Put nuts, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and sesame seeds on to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Dry toast for 12 minutes on gas Mark 4/180C. Allow to cool.
  • Add mint leaves, chilli & salt to a mini chopper and pulse in 1 second bursts.
  • Check after each pulse as you don’t want it too finely chopped.

To compile

  • Add the dressed freekah salad to a large bowl. Top with the cashew dressing and dukkah.
  • Serve with the vegan fish balls.

To make the vegan fish balls

  • Blend in a food processor the following ingredients: garlic, onion, spices, coriander, nori, chilli.
  • Smash the tofu with a fork.
  • Add the spices to the blend.

Rolling the vegan balls

  • Roll to medium size meatballs and flatten the ball
  • Place in a pre-oiled baking dish and bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees celsius

Preparing the sauce

  • Chop onion and steam in olive oil, chop tomatoes and add to onions.
  • Add the tomato paste and water and simmer for about half an hour.
  • Add the meatballs and simmer for half an hour

To plate the dish

  • Place red sauce on a plate on top add the “CHRAIME”- 2 -3 balls
  • You can garnish with coriander leaves
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