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Hraimi is perhaps the Libyan dish par excellence, the most loved and well-known by anyone who has experienced the local cuisine.
Hraimi is essentialy a dish of fish fillets in extremely spicy sauce.
Do you think your palate can take it? Do you reckon that you are immune to chili peppers? Try hraimi, and you will most likely change your mind. Your taste buds will be on fire!
- 3 slices fresh tuna or other chunky fish(*)
- 1 finely chopped onion
- ½ glass olive oil
- 2 full tablespoons of tomato paste
- ½-1 teaspoon chili powder (careful!)
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground caraway
- juice of ½ a lemon
- Fry the finely chopped onion in plenty of olive oil; you should use a large non-stick pan with a high edge, if possible.
- While still on low heat, add pepper, tomato paste and 2 cloves of crushed garlic; then, add a large glass of water and ½ teaspoon of salt.
- When the sauce starts to simmer, put the fish in the pan and cook over medium heat until you obtain a thick sauce. (*) You can also use 300 g of tuna fillets in oil, to speed up the recipe in an unorthodox way, but these must be of excellent quality, very large and compact.
- Add a scant ½ teaspoon of ground caraway to the sauce, and cook for a few more minutes, then at the end of cooking, add the juice of ½ a lemon.
- Serve the hraimi as an appetizer, at room temperature, with plenty of bread (the sauce, if it is well made, is usually a huge success!).
P.S.: Update for perfectionists: this recipe is also prepared with filfel chuma, a paste of garlic, lemon, and chili pepper. Sooner or later we will tell you about it, but until then you’ll have to settle!