Spiced Roast by Roy Brett of Ondine

As the winter weather is drawing in and autumn is in its full glory with the leaves turning golden brown, it’s time to celebrate with the best seasonal ingredients that we have on offer right now. The warmth and satisfaction that we look for in our food at this time of year does not always have to come from heavy or meaty dishes. Just because we’re looking for comforting food, you can still get this from light dishes with delicate flavours.

For me, there is nothing better at this time of year using the flavour of curry spices. This dish has the perfect balance of spices to warm you up from the inside. This is a very simple way to create a tandoori version of fish curry. It’s a great dish to enjoy with a group of friends for a dinner party. Not to mention it’s easy and most of the preparation can be done in advance. The marinade is essential to penetrate the monkfish tail and to create a real depth of flavour. It also tenderises the fish, making it a pleasure to eat.

The addition of spiced aubergine is a delight - it completely transforms the taste of the vegetable. It’s a must try if it’s something you’ve never done before. Cooking the aubergine in this way means that it has a depth of flavour with the smokiness from the charred aubergine, the subtle heat from the Kashmiri chilli and also the cooling balance from the tomatoes. It is the ideal base to compliment the monkfish.

This is just the dish if you’re looking to surprise dinner guests with a treat this November. The full-bodied flavour makes it a strong and punchy recipe but without being overpowering or heavy. I like to serve it with some freshly cooked chapattis or even just some pilau rice to let the flavours of the monkfish and aubergine really shine.

For more information about Ondine, visit https://www.ondinerestaurant.co.uk/.

Roast Monkfish Tail, Spiced Aubergines and Cashews by Roy Brett

As ever, the key with this dish is the preparation and using the very best ingredients you can. You need to allow time for the marinade to do its magic into the fish but trust me, it’s worth the wait!

Serves 6


1 monkfish tail

For the monkfish marinade:

5tsp fennel seeds

5tsp caraway seeds

3tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

3tsp Maldon sea salt

300g natural yoghurt

150g cashew nuts

150g ginger

150g garlic

For the spiced aubergine:

6 aubergines

100ml rapeseed oil (and a little extra for brushing the aubergines)

3tsp cumin seeds

8 red onions, diced

1tsp ginger paste

1tsp garlic paste

300g chopped tomatoes

4 green chillies, sliced

2tsp fresh mint, shredded

2tsp fresh coriander, shredded


To serve:

100g roasted cashew nuts

1 bunch curry leaves (deep fry the curry leaves at 140°C, until crispy)

100g lemon yoghurt

4 lime wedges


1. First, prepare the monkfish marinade. Roast the seeds in a pan until they just start to colour and then blend to a powder. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again to form a paste. Spread the mixture all over the monkfish tail and allow to marinade for up to 6 hours.

2. Next, make the spiced aubergines. Pre-heat the oven at 180°C. Brush the aubergines with a little rapeseed oil and roast them over an open flame to char the skin. Finish cooking the aubergines in the oven for around 20 minutes or until they are soft. Once cooked, remove from the oven and cover with foil and then aside.

3. In a thick bottomed pan, roast the cumin seeds in the oil then add the chillies, red onions, ginger and garlic paste and cook at a moderate heat until soft but without colouring. Add the chopped tomatoes and reduce until the mixture thickens. Taste and season if required.

4. Peel the cooked aubergine and then drain in a colander to remove any excess water before adding to the pot with the spiced tomato mixture. Cook for 10 minutes and then add the mint and coriander.

5. To cook the monkfish tail, preheat the oven to 190°C. Place the monkfish tail on a roasting tray and roast for 15 minutes. Once cooked, cover with foil and rest for 5 minutes before serving.

6. To serve, place the spiced aubergine in the centre of the plate, section the monkfish tail and place on top. Sprinkle over the cashews and curry leaves. Finish with a wedge of lime and a little yogurt.