Sue’s Spicy Lentils with Pan Fried Cod

Serves 4 hungry people

Ingredients

Skinned and bone cod fillets
1 onion (small diced)
1 celery stick (small diced)
1 carrot (small diced)
2 fat garlic cloves (grated or minced)
1 heaped tablespoon of Ghee or plain vegetable oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
400g of passata (I used my own home made and frozen last year) but you can use an extra can of chopped tomatoes or shop bought passata.
100g cold block butter (cubed)
Water
Lentils can be red, green, brown or black lentils and yellow split peas.
I used just because I had them: -
100g dried red lentils
50g dried brown lentils
So 150g of dried lentils of any kind will do, soak them in cold water for an hour or two before use.
Or you could use a tin of (drained) green lentils and 50 g of dried red lentils. If you do this you’ll need less water.
Enough Salt, Pepper and flour to dredge the cod in.

Spices:
I used these simply because I had them in:-
1tsp coriander seeds or ½ tsp ground
1tsp cumin seeds or ½ tsp ground
½ tsp fennel seeds or ¼ ground
½ tsp hot curry powder
1tsp grated fresh turmeric
1tsp grated fresh ginger
½ tsp black pepper corns

You can use any or all of the above or substitute/add your favourite spices.

A pinch of powdered ginger and turmeric will replace the fresh turmeric and ginger I used. You can add chilli powder (Himself is a wimp so I didn’t add this but if you like it hot)… ½ tsp or to your taste!

So that all seems like a lot of stuff?

Don’t despair, I promise it is worth it. So collect all the ingredients you can or indeed have together and let’s begin.

Method

Grind/bash any seeds

Heat (medium heat) a heavy bottomed saucepan with a dollop of oil or ghee in the bottom

Add all diced vegetables and sauté until softened but not browned (approx 5 – 10 minutes)

Add spices and stir through.

Then add all the other ingredients including a can of water (use the tomato tin)

Bring to the boil then simmer on a very, very low heat stirring often (as it thickens it can stick) for at least 1 hour (I aim for 1 ½ hours). You may have to top up the water as you go depending on how thirsty your lentils are.

When your lentils have softened completely add salt to taste. Stir in the cubed butter until it melts, this makes the mixture really creamy, taste again and add more salt if needed and serve.

You can also cool the mixture and refrigerate for later use, reheat slowly stirring to prevent it sticking.

I’ve never frozen it but I expect it would freeze well, just defrost slowly when needed.

Make Cod the star of the show!

Fresh, quality fish needs very simple cooking in my opinion. I made a well seasoned flour dredge with plain flour, salt, black and white pepper.

Simply dredge the fish and shake of any excess to lightly coat it and simply fry on a medium heat in plain vegetable oil turning once.

Enjoy!

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