Using both local Australian ingredients and traditional Indian cookery methods gives this dish a modern edge. The tropical homemade chutney gives the fillets a personal touch.
- 12 x 350 g sand whiting fillets, skin on
- 1 tbs besan (chickpea) flour (see Note)
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground chilli
- ¼ tsp ajwain seeds (see Note)
- 2 tsp garlic and ginger paste (see Note)
- ½ tsp salt
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- baby cress (optional), to serve
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 400 g (about ½) pineapple, skin and core removed, chopped
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1½ tsp ground paprika
- 4 mint leaves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink match 2010 Rosily Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.
To make pineapple chutney, heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Toast cumin seeds for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in pineapple and tomato, and cook for 2 minutes or until tomato starts to soften. Add 150 ml water, sugar and paprika, and cook for 25 minutes or until mixture thickens. Cool, then process with mint leaves in a food processor until smooth. Set aside until needed. Any leftover chutney will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Score fish skin and remove any bones. Combine chickpea flour, spices, garlic and ginger paste, and salt. Using damp hands, coat fish in flour mixture.
Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with oil and heat over medium heat to 170°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 15 seconds). Working in batches, carefully lower fish into oil and fry, turning halfway, for 3 minutes or until golden and just cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Serve with pineapple chutney and baby cress, if desired.
• Chickpea flour is available from health food shops and selected supermarkets.
• Ajwain seeds are available from Indian food shops and spice shops. They have an intense caraway flavour. Substitute caraway seeds.
• Garlic and ginger paste, available from Indian food shops, is a staple of Indian cookery. Alternatively, use 1 crushed garlic clove and finely grate a 2 cm piece of ginger.
Photography Rob Frith
As seen in Feast magazine, December 2011, Issue 4. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.