Pickled black bream with roti
This short, almost crisp roti is fun to make, but you can save time by shallow-frying a bought flatbread in ghee. The pickled fish, meanwhile, is well worth the wait. Serves four.
80ml white-wine vinegar
2½ tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp black peppercorns
1 red onion, cut into 1cm dice
40g ginger, peeled and julienned
350g black bream fillets, pin-boned and skinned
1 mini cucumber, cut into 1cm dice
½ green chilli, very thinly sliced
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1½ tbsp chopped coriander
1 tsp toasted coriander seeds, crushed
For the roti
80g chickpea flour
100g strong wholemeal flour
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
¼ tsp ground turmeric
2 green chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
¾ tsp caster sugar
¾ tsp salt
120ml melted ghee or clarified butter
Put the vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt and peppercorns in a bowl, then add the onion and ginger. Put the fish in a single layer in a shallow bowl, spoon over the marinade, cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge overnight, turning once.
Next day, lift the fish from the marinade, shred into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Put the cucumber and chilli in the marinade for 30 minutes, to pickle partially.
Put all the roti ingredients bar three-quarters of the ghee in a bowl. Add four tablespoons of cold water and mix until the dough comes together. Knead until smooth, cover with a wet cloth and set aside for 10 minutes. Place a heavy, nonstick pan on medium heat. Divide the dough into eight and roll into circles 12cm in diameter and 3-4mm thick. Place one roti in the hot pan, drizzle over some reserved ghee and cook, turning occasionally, for two minutes, until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the rest of the rotis.
To serve, place one warm roti on each plate. Divide the yoghurt between the rotis and lay the fish on top. Spoon over the cucumber and a little pickling liquid, and top with fresh coriander and coriander seeds. Serve the other rotis on the side.
Swiss chard fritters (V)
There’s something pure about these fritters – they’re all about the chard and herbs. Serves four as a starter.
400g Swiss chard, leaves only (or 600g spinach)
30g fresh parsley
20g fresh coriander
20g fresh dill
1½ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp sugar
3 tbsp plain flour
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 free-range eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
80g feta, broken into small pieces
60ml olive oil
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, and simmer the chard for five minutes. Drain, squeeze dry, then whizz in a food processor with the herbs, nutmeg, sugar, flour, garlic, eggs, a third of a teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Fold in the feta by hand.
Pour a tablespoon of oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat and spoon in three heaped tablespoons of the mix, one per fritter. Press down gently to shape into 7cm wide, 1cm thick fritters, and cook for three to four minutes, turning once, until they take on some colour. Transfer to kitchen paper and repeat with the remaining fritter mix and oil. Serve hot with a wedge of lemon.
Yotam Ottolenghi is chef/patron of Ottolenghi in London.
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