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Recipe of the week: cod, dhal, cauliflower, lime pickle, onion bhaji, coriander

Written by:
Written by:
Recipe of the week: cod, dhal, cauliflower, lime pickle, onion bhaji, coriander

Serves: 6-10 as a main course, depending on appetites

Note: the recipe for the fish was provided by the publisher on request.

Allow 120g fillet of cod for a main course portion. At the restaurant we often remove the skin and serve it crispy separately, due to customer preferences.
Remove the skin or ask your fishmonger to do so for you. Lightly salt the whole uncut fish fillet on both sides and roll the fillet tightly in cling film. Store the fish in the fridge for at least two hours. Unwrap the cod fillet, cut it into desired portions and pat it dry with kitchen towel.

Pre-heat the oven to 100ºC and place a small tray of boiling water in the bottom of it.

Heat a little vegetable oil in a non-stick pan. Add the fish portions to the pan, skin-side down, making sure not to over-crowd them or you will lose too much heat from the pan and the fish will poach rather than colour.

Allow the fish to take on a nice golden-brown colour on one side and then turn the fish over in the pan before transferring it to an oven tray.

Place the oven tray into the oven and cook it for four to six minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet, until the fish is cooked to your liking. I use a temperature probe at the restaurant to guarantee every piece of fish is cooked how I like it for any given dish.

250g red lentils
800g-900g water
100g vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
25g ginger root
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1tsp garam masala
1tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground coriander
1 cinnamon stick
3 tomatoes, chopped
Fermented chilli sauce to taste

Put the lentils into a pan with the water and bring it to the boil. Cook the lentils for around 20 minutes until they are tender. Whisk the lentils and water to break them down a little.

Heat the oil in a separate pan and cook the onion, ginger and garlic until they have browned evenly. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for five minutes then add them to the lentils. Cook the lentils for a further 10 minutes and then remove them from the heat. Season with salt as required.

Lime pickle
3tsp agar agar
1tbs asafoetida powder
½tsp chilli powder
200g caster sugar
200g water
200g lime juice

Mix the agar agar with the spices and caster sugar in a bowl. Put the water into a pan and whisk in the sugar mix. Leave to rehydrate for five minutes. Place the pan on the heat and slowly bring it to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for five minutes. Pour the contents of the pan into a container and whisk in the lime juice. Set the mix aside to cool, then place it in the fridge to set fully. Cut the set mix into small cubes and process in a blender until you have a smooth purée.

2 onions
½tbs salt
1 chilli
2 garlic cloves, crushed
10g ginger root, finely diced
20g unsalted butter, melted
30g rice flour
60g gram flour
½tsp fennel seeds
½tsp onion seeds (nigella)
½tsp ground turmeric
½tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1tsp-2tbsp water

Slice the onions and place them into a bowl with the salt. Gently massage the salt into the onions and set them aside for an hour to let the onions release their juices. Add the remaining ingredients, except the water, to the onions and mix. Now add enough water to make a slightly sticky dough.

Deep-fry spoonfuls of the mix at 180ºC for two to three minutes, turning occasionally, until crispy on the outside.

To finish
60g vegetable oil
1tsp turmeric powder
1tsp garam masala
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1tsp caster salt
1 cauliflower, cut into florets

Mix the oil and spices together in a large bowl and add the cauliflower florets, coating them well. Spread the florets onto a tray and cook in the oven at 200ºC for 10-12 mins. To serve, place a spoonful of dhal on each plate, top with individual portions of cod and serve with the bhajis, cauliflower and lime pickle.

• Taken from The Shore by Bruce Rennie. Read the review of the book here

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