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Israeli Moroccan Fish for Passover

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Israeli Moroccan Fish for Passover is tilapia (or your fish of choice) in a slightly spicy sauce made with tomatoes and red peppers. It is simple to make, dairy free, and delicious!

Two pieces of Moroccan fish with peppers on a white plate with a blue line around the edges on a white wood background

This dish is not a simple one to photograph, but Israeli Moroccan Fish for Passover is a delicious dish for any fish lover. It is perfect for the week of Passover and even for the day of the seder!

The yellow tint to the fish is from the sauce, which contains a little bit of turmeric. You can make the sauce very spicy, slightly spice, or not at all. The dish itself normally contains quite a bit of oil, but I use minimal in this recipe, so less calories!!

A little of my cooking background

I really wanted to title this blog “If I can make it, anyone can”, because – honestly – if I can make it, anyone can.

I never really liked cooking and when I was single, a meal for me meant grilled cheese, eggs, tuna, or something else that didn’t require effort or time.

When my kids were young, I was still able to get away with preparing only a small variety of easy meals, but the older they got, the more dishes I learned to make at their request.

Still, I insisted on keeping it simple.

Honestly, I never understood why some cooks unnecessarily complicate meals. I have seen recipes that have several ingredients that don’t really seem to add much, if anything, to the dish. So, why bother?

It has always been important to me that whoever eats at my table will have plenty to enjoy and that includes my kids (I never agreed with the “You will eat what is served or you won’t eat” ideology) and, because I keep it simple, I can prepare a variety of dishes in a relatively short period of time.

I have a philosophy regarding being a great cook: Prepare food according to the tastes of those who will be eating it and they will love your cooking!

As far as I am concerned, start with the basic ingredients that make the dish what it is, adapt according to taste, and voila! you are an amazing cook!

The bottom line is that while there are certainly delicate recipes out there for specialty dishes, making delicious meals doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. It’s not difficult to impress – just make sure it tastes good.

While some of the recipes on my blog are more time-consuming than others, they are all tried and true easy-shmeezy!

Of course, one always has to consider the conditions under which they cook. Weather (humidity, heat, cold), different types of ovens, different quality of pots, etc. – all of which can affect your cooking and baking.

Nevertheless, as I said, if I can do it, anyone can!

A little about Israeli cuisine

Some people complain about cultural appropriation in cuisine when food from one country is attributed to another country.

However, national cuisine in itself is often a mingling of food from of a variety of cultures, often due to a change of ruling countries and a shifting of borders.

Turkish cuisine, for example, goes back to the Ottoman Empire and was a combination of several cultures under Ottoman rule.

When people move from country to country, they will take their cultures with them and their decendents may adapt their traditional cuisine with that of their new home and, if they don’t, others might.

Chinese food in US restaurants is quite often not really authentic Chinese, but American Chinese.

Americans have created a whole variety of types and styles of pizza and pineapple pizza was apparently created in Canada by a Greek immigrant. Yet, everyone still calls them all “pizza”, which originated in Italy.

Spaghetti is thought to be an Italian food, but many historians believe that it was brought back to Italy from China by Marco Polo.

Apparently, battered fried fish was from the Portuguese Jewish community as a sabbath food and ended up in England via Holland during the Spanish Inquisition, yet everyone attributes the food to the British.

…and don’t get me started on Hummus.

When one lives in a melting pot, such as the US or Israel, it is just unrealistic to expect that food from a particular culture won’t mingle with that of other cultures.

That being said, “Israeli cuisine” is basically Middle Eastern (as opposed to Eastern European food) that was brought to Israel by Jews when they fled or were expelled from Muslim countries and moved to Israel mostly after the declaration of the State of Israel (collectively known as Mizrahi Jews).

Recipes were passed from generation to generation and, although decades have passed, the foods are still known by the culture they came from and everyone seems to have their own way of making them.

That said, there are many variations of pretty much any “Israeli” recipe, because of background, custom, or even just taste. When choosing a recipe, one has to know what actually constitutes a main ingredient – what makes the dish what it is – and what is left up to individual taste.

I personally find it very arrogant and quite irritating when a blogger(not naming names) will put “authentic” in the title of an “Israeli” recipe, as if all the rest are mere imitations. What’s worse, is when that blogger makes the recipe with her own twist and then calls it authentic!

Adding more or less of a spice or adding a spice that is not in the recipe, does not make it less authentic, but calling it “authentic” and then adding unnecessary extra ingredients above and beyond what needs to be there, is misleading.

For example, “authentic” Israeli salad (what Israelis call Israeli salad) is diced tomatoes and cucumbers. Sometimes, they will add some oil salt and pepper, but THAT’S IT. Anything else does not have to be there, but if you leave out the cucumbers or the tomatoes, you no longer have an “Israeli salad”.

So, find the recipes you like with the ingredients you prefer, add your own twists, and בתאבון (literally translated, “with appetite”) !

Moroccan Jews in Israel

The majority of Moroccan Jews in Israel are the descendants of Jews that immigrated to Israel from Morocco.

Before the establishment of the State of Israel, the British put a quota on the amount of Jews that could immigrate to Israel, so most of the immigration was considered “illegal”. However, many Jews risked their lives to flee their countries of original, including Arab and Muslim countries, such as Morocco.

Because the Muslims were against the establishment of a State of Israel, after the declaration of the State and the civil war that followed, life became more difficult for the Jews of Morocco, because the Muslims would attack Jews as a result. This brought about a wave of immigrants to Israel from Morocco, as did every Arab-Israeli war that followed.

So, during the 1950s and for decades afterward, waves of Moroccan Jews immigrated to Israel.

Morocco was once the home of the largest Jewish community in the Muslim world, however by the time of the Yom Kippur war, the majority of Morocco’s Jews had immigrated to Israel and they brought their delicious cuisine with them.

Food on Passover

Torah observant Jews do not eat chametz (the fermented products of five grains: wheat, spelt, barley, oats and rye).

In addition, Torah observant Ashkenazi Jews do not eat kitniyot (or kitniyos as pronunced in Ashkenazi Hebrew). These include: legumes, corn, rice, and similar that were deemed forbidden to eat by rabbis in the medieval period and are still not eaten today. Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews do not follow this tradition.

Many ovservant Ashkenazi Jews will not even eat the derivatives of these kitniyot, while others do (each family holds their own traditions regarding this).

Then, there are Ashkenazim who don’t eat “gebrochts”.

Gebrochts means “broken” in Yiddish – and in this case refers to matza that has absorbed liquid. Not eating gebrochts is observed by many in the Hasidic Jewish community and Ashkenazim who have taken on this tradition where they basically don’t mix anything wet with matza.

So, things like matzo sandwhiches, fried matzo, and even matzo balls are a no-no for them.

There is a joke that sums it all up:

On Passover, we should remember people who have little to eat on this holiday. They are called Ashkenazim.

Over the years, I have learned to adapt “normal” food for passover so that my family won’t complain about boring, tasteless, or repetitive meals.

I find that having good food and variety makes the week of Passover a very pleasant experience and I hope this recipe will help make yours just that!

So, make sure all of the ingredients you use for Israeli Moroccan Fish for Passover are kosher for Passover and enjoy!

Yield: 4 servings

Easy Israeli Moroccan Fish for Passover

Two pieces of Moroccan fish with peppers on a white plate with a blue line around the edges on a white wood background

Dairy Free Israeli style Moroccan Fish, kosher for passover

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 4-5 pieces fillet tilapia without skin (I use whatever fish that I find)
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (or 4 - 5 medium tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste, slightly heaped
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes or hot pepper flakes (optional for spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt (or to taste)
  • oil for frying


    1. Coat the bottom of the pot with a thin layer of oil.
    2. Cut the sweet pepper into thin strips and lightly fry on a medium heat.
    3. Add tomatoes, granulated garlic, tomato paste, paprika, turmeric, water, salt, and chili or hot pepper flakes if desired.
    4. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until everything has become a chunky sauce.
    5. Add the fish and poach until cooked through.



Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1154mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 6gSugar: 8gProtein: 59g

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