Lentil Crusted Snapper


Spice Crumb Fish

So are you a ‘Glory Cook’? she asked me. I love ‘glorious cooking…does that count?’ I remarked.

It got me thinking however, of course I’m a glory cook, I mean who doesn’t enjoy cooking a meal that’s appreciated, praised and perhaps a little envied? And if there’s a little glory to be shared around then I’ll take a garnish of that as well. Yes, I’m a Glory Cook. There I’ve admitted it, it’s out in the open, I can now commence my journey of British self-deprecation in peace. However, before I commence my trip into humility I’m going to share this recipe I picked from my chef pal, Kathir in Pondicherry, India. It’s the sort of dish that ushers in an ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ from dinner guests and it’s utterly sublime. It’s South Indian lentil crusted snapper and combines a show-stopping burst of spices, which will leave your diners hailing you as a spice deity. So here’s your chance to enjoy a double scoop of glory, take a bow and perhaps return for an encore.

Lentil crusted snapper…it’s a glorious recipe and deserves a stage performance!

Lentil crusted snapper

How To Make Lentil Crusted Snapper

Serves 2

For the lentil crumb

  • 150g Urad (Urid) Dal (soaked for an hour and drained thoroughly)
  • 150g Channa Dal (soaked for an hour and drained thoroughly)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1 tsp fresh curry leaves (dried will do if you can’t get hold of fresh ones)
  • ½ tsp asafoetida

1. Using a large pan over medium heat, dry roast dal until nutty and golden brown.
2. Add the red chilli, curry leaves to the pan for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
3. Pulse the ingredients in a blender/stick blender until you have a rough crumb and shake in the asafoetida.

For the fish marinade

  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Dash of salt
  • ½ tsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 x Snapper fillets (approx. 180g each)

1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together (apart from the fish) in a bowl until you have a paste.
2. Spread the paste over both sides of the snapper fillets and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
3. Heat the oven to 1800C/ and grease a baking tray with a little butter/oil.
4. Coat the fillets with the lentil crumb until covered on both sides.
5. Bake the fish for 6 – 8 minutes until the fish is firm to the touch and cooked.

Serve with sautéed spinach

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 100g fresh spinach, blanched and chopped.

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil over a medium heat, until tanned, add the fennel seeds and cook for another couple of minutes. Now tip in the spinach and sauté for 2 minutes.

Serve the fish over a bed of spinach and marvel at your creation…Instagram at will!

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