Sunday, 22 March 2015

Pre-Nowrouz meal

My husband is Iranian so Persian New Year, or Nowrouz, is a big deal for him.

Traditionally, the start of the festivities is marked with a meal of fish and rice, but I thought it might be nice to do a variation on a theme this year. I replaced the rice with lentils and decided to roast the cod in a coating of home made curry powder and oil. My recipe (which resulted in hubby asking for seconds by the way), is as follows. There were only two of us, scale the quantities up if you are feeding a crowd.

For the spiced lentils

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 x tins of green, or puy lentils, drained and rinsed
lemon juice, to taste
3 tablespoons of chopped coriander

For the fish

2 x 250gram pieces of cod loin (you could also use hake or another firm white fish)
1teaspoon of curry powder
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Start by preparing the fish. Mix the curry powder and oil into a paste. Brush over each side of the fish and season with salt and pepper. Place in a baking tray and set aside. Heat the oven to 200oC.

Heat the olive oil in a wide saute pan. Add the onion and cook on a medium heat until softened. Then add the garlic, chilli and cumin and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until soft.

Add the lentils, mind cook on a low heat for 5 minutes. Add enough water to make a thick sauce and bring to a simmer.

Whilst the lentils are cooking, place the fish in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Just before the fish is ready, add the lemon juice and coriander, together with salt and pepper as required. Cover with a lid and set aside.

When the fish is firm, but still opaque, remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes.

To serve, place the lentil mix on the plate, or as I have done, the bottom of a wide bowl. Place the fish on top and serve.

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