Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Spiced Mackerel and Dhal

A health kick was in order for the Kitten Kitchen household as we still carry our winter weight, despite it being June. It’s terribly hard to resist the things that give me pleasure though and curry is one of my many weaknesses, so I decided to create a low fat (sounds dull already, but bear with me) replacement for the ghee-seeping, tummy-busting yumminess that I usually indulge in. The recipe below serves four and elements can easily be swapped in/out for personal preferences.

For the Spiced Mackerel
4 mackerel fillets (locally line caught if possible)
1 tbsp ground tumeric
Squeeze of lemon juice

For the Dhal
225g red or yellow lentils
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 chicken stock cubes (or vegetable if you prefer)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin

For the Accompaniments
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
500g new potatoes, cooked and sliced
Salt and pepper
4 handfuls of okra, tipped

Ensure all little bones are removed from the mackerel fillets and squeeze lemon juice over them. Slop them about a bit to get them totally covered in it, then flop them into the turmeric. Each fillet should be evenly covered with a thin coating of turmeric. Place in the fridge to marinate while preparing the other elements.

To create the dhal, gently fry the chopped onion and garlic in a little olive oil (if you want a super healthy version, try using low fat oil spray). When softened, set to one side and pop the lentils into a saucepan, cover with hot water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat, add in the spices and the stock cube, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated, stirring regularly. You should be left with a delicious thick dhal, ready for the cooked onions and garlic to be mixed in. Reheat when the potatoes, fish and okra are nearly ready.

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the cooked potatoes until beginning to brown. Add in the chopped garlic and seasoning and continue to cook until evenly crisp all over. In the mean time, heat a pan of water and steam the okra. While the potatoes and okra are cooking, remove the fish from the fridge and place under a med-high grill, turning regularly to ensure they cook evenly. Now would be the time to reheat the lentil dhal and warm some plates and a serving dish for the potatoes.

When each constituent is ready, place a little bed of dhal on the plates and lay a fillet of mackerel on top. Gather the drained okra and arrange on the plate. Pop the potatoes in the serving dish and get ready for some compliments from your hungry guests.

I’d recommended an Australian Chardonnay or a light lager to accompany. Mmm.


  1. Glad to see you posting! I love the color the turmeric give the mackerel. This dish looks like it is bursting with flavor. Love it!

  2. Thanks Bridgett, it was delicious indeed. :)

  3. I love your blog!

    This looks so delicious!

    Have a nice time!