This is an interesting dish and requires blending of the fish and spices before cooking.
It was well worth this effort as they tasted so good.
I have used Roma tomatoes as I grow my own, and these were all I had at the time. Using larger ones is probably easier however this sauce, which was cooked till a lot of the liquid had evaporated, was excellent when the fish balls were cooked in it.
It is also a good way of getting children to eat fish as it did not taste "fishy" and still had all the goodness in it.
Ingredients 350 g boneless white fish fillets (I used snapper)
1 small egg
1 spring onion
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped coriander
35 g breadcrumbs
½ tsp ground saffron threads
350 g tomatoes
1 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
¾ tsp paprika
Up to ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp sugar
Cut the fish fillets into rough pieces. I have left the label on the photo as this fish worked very well and I got it at Woolworths.
Put this fish, the spring onion, parsley, coriander, egg and breadcrumbs into a food processor or blender.
Mix the saffron in ¾ tbsp warm water, and add to the other ingredients with some salt and black pepper.
Process until it is a thick paste.
Wet your hands and shape the fish mixture into small balls. Place on a tray and keep in the fridge until you make the tomato sauce.
Boil some water and while it is boiling, cut a cross on the bottom of each tomato.
Pour the boiling water over the tomatoes and leave for about 20 seconds, empty the water and then put cold water over the tomatoes. Remove them from the water, and you should be able to peel the skin away from each one.
Tomatoes now have no skin
Halve or quarter the tomatoes, depending on their size and squeeze out some of the seeds. Chop a bit more.
Meanwhile, put the grated onion in a frying pan or small wok with some oil and cook for about 5 minutes.
Cooking the grated onion
Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne and cumin and stir for a few seconds.
Add the tomatoes, sugar, and about ¾ cup of water, salt and pepper if required -bear in mind that fish will taste nicer with salt.
Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add the fish balls to the tomato sauce.
Fish balls now in tomato sauce
Shake the pan occasionally before bringing back to the boil.
Shake the pan as you add them so they are covered in the sauce
Turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 - 20 minutes, adding a bit more water if it starts to stick.
Cooked fish balls
Serve hot on a bed of rice or boiled potatoes. I had some left over potato salad, so I served the saffron fish balls with this.
They are also nice the next day at room temperature.