Easy baked fish with juicy rainbow peppers & hawaij spices

By the end of the High Holiday season I was utterly fed up with eating salmon. We seemed to be having it at almost every meal – hot with toppings, cold with salads, smoked salmon, pate… I was even dreaming about it at night! And then one evening, I was looking in the fridge for the salmon and I froze. I just couldn’t bring myself to make salmon yet again! It was time to shake myself out of this cooking rut before I faced mutiny at the dinner table!

Having decided to be a bit more creative with our fish, the first step was to buy some white fish fillets. I got hake, although this easy baked fish recipe would work fine with any flaky white fish – cod, haddock, whatever you fancy. The second step in my rut-busting plan was to create an easy and delicious dish with them. Simple!

I do love to cook fish and vegetables together because: 

  1. The flavours intermingle and everything becomes super-delicious
  2. You get your protein and your side dish all in one pot – less washing up!
  3. Colourful veggies make everything look beautiful

This easy baked fish didn’t disappoint on any of these points! The sweet peppers and caramelised onions were infused with the hawaij* spice that marinated the fish, and the pan juices were a wonderful combination of flavours – perfect spooned over the rice that we had alongside. You can see for yourself how pretty those rainbow-hued peppers looked. And yes, minimal washing up. Easy to make, easy to eat, and easy to clean up – win-win-win!

Succulent baked fish and sweet, juicy peppers combine in this easy one-dish family meal. Serve with rice for a delicious dinner that everyone will enjoy.

This wonderful baked fish certainly shook us out of our dinnertime rut… for the time being at least πŸ˜‹

(*Hawaij is a Yemenite spice blend which is fairly ubiquitous in Israel where it is used to season everything from soup and rice to fish, meat and vegetables. I bought some when I visited Tel Aviv’s Levinsky market but you can make your own by combining 1 tbsp each of black peppercorns, cardamom seeds and coriander seeds and 3 tbsp each of cumin seeds and ground turmeric. Grind the ingredients together in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, and store in an airtight jar. You can also buy this version from Steenbergs, although the ingredients in their blend differ from the recipe above, and probably from the one I bought in Israel, too!)

Serves 4.

Succulent baked fish and sweet, juicy peppers combine in this easy one-dish family meal. Serve with rice for a delicious dinner that everyone will enjoy.

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5 from 2 votes

Baked fish with hawaij spices and sweet rainbow peppers

An easy family meal of succulent spiced fish with sweet juicy peppers. Serve with rice for a simple dinner that everyone will love.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Helen


  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 medium-large peppers, deseeded and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

To marinate the fish

  • 4 hake fillets (approx 100g each)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp hawaij spice blend


  1. Heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet and fry the sliced onions for 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the sliced peppers and the garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, rinse the fish and pat dry. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil and hawaij spices in a bowl, then add the fish fillets and turn gently to coat evenly.

  3. Preheat the oven to 180C.

  4. Spread 2/3 of the pepper mixture over the base of a baking dish. Arrange the fish fillets on top, and pour any remaining marinade over. Spoon the remaining 1/3 of the peppers over the fish.

  5. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake at 180C for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the peppers are just beginning to char.

  6. Serve at once, with any pan juices spooned over.

Recipe Notes

To make hawaij spice mix - combine 1 tbsp each of black peppercorns, cardamom seeds and coriander seeds and 3 tbsp each of cumin seeds and ground turmeric. Grind together in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Store in an airtight jar.








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  3. The name of that spice is in Arabic : means – mix spice
    It can be used the same way as Curry . They are similar although the Hawaij is more gentle. And the main thing , it is very healthy ( it’s main ingredient is Tumeric)

  4. 5 stars
    What a lovely colourful dish of deliciousness! I had never come across hawaij spice blend so very interested to learn about that, thank you!

  5. Ooh doesn’t this look colourful with all the peppers! I have never heard of these spices before, but it sounds lovely.

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve never heard of this spice blend before, but I love all the individual components so I’m sure I’d love the final result! I’ll have to try this gorgeous looking recipe soon. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Elizabeth! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Hawaij tastes vaguely Indian, but without the heat associated with a spicy curry. It’s very fragrant and delicious and is great with all sorts of things.

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