Moqueca or Brazilian fish stew

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I love this stew which we ate rather a lot of on our recent trip to Brazil. My friend Judy makes a great one which I’ve had on many a festive occasion. Wash this down with a jug of caipirinhas and imagine you’re in Bahia! It’s super-easy to make as well.

Serves 4

2 tbsp coconut oil
Olive oil for drizzling
1/2 yellow onion chopped
1 red pepper sliced
1 yellow pepper sliced
1 jalapeño, or scotch bonnet if you’re brave (I am), chopped and seeds removed if too spicy
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp paprika
Pinch of cayenne
1 lb or or more white fish  cut into large 1-2 inch pieces, plus some prawns (optional)
1 large tomato chopped (or 1 can chopped tomatoes)
1 cups vegetable or fish stock (be careful not to make it too liquid)
1 can coconut milk
1 lime zested + lime cut into wedges
Salt and pepper to taste
Spring onions chopped for garnish

Method

In a large pot, add coconut oil and a drizzle of olive oil. On medium heat, saute chopped onion, peppers and jalapeno/Scotch bonnet until lightly soft, about 5-8 minutes. Then add chopped garlic, paprika and cayenne and stir to combine, for another 1-2 minutes.

Add chopped tomatoes with their juice and stir everything together, cooking for another 1-2 minutes so the tomato juice can evaporate a bit.

Pat dry the fish very well with a pepper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Lay the fish down on top of the vegetables and pour the vegetable stock and coconut milk. Make sure its no too liquid! Add lime zest and season with salt and pepper,

Cover and cook for a few minutes on medium-low heat until the fish is fully cooked, firm but flakey.

To serve,  spoon stew on top of rice.Garnish with lime wedges, coriander and chopped spring onions. Wash down with a caipirinha!

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