Curry roasted monkfish, lentil dahl, masala pickled onions

I love Indian food and occasionally like to move away from the classics and experiment with spices. This is a variation of one I currently have on the menu and One Devonshire gardens. I’m aware that monkfish isn’t readily available in a lot of supermarkets so you could substitute this with cod. A good wee tip for checking if monkfish is cooked is by taking a cocktail stick and sticking it through the fish. If it slides through with ease then your fish is cooked, any resistance then you will need another minute or so.

Serves 2-4


2 x monkfish tails

1tbsp curry powder

2 x limes

Dahl -

250g red lentils

1 x 400g tin coconut milk

1 x lemon grass

2 x cloves garlic

20g ginger

Pinch of fennel seeds

Pinch of coriander seeds

2 cardamom pods

Mint leaves

Fresh Coriander

50ml vegetable oil


Onions – 1 day in advance

(The further in advanced these are made the better the onions)

Selection of small baby onions/ shallots

125ml white wine vinegar

200ml water

50g sugar

1 tbsp. masala curry powder

Pinch of coriander seeds


Pre heat oven to 180c/ gas mark 4

First to prepare the pickled onions you need to bring the vinegar, water, sugar, coriander seeds and curry powder to the boil. Peel the onions if needed. Place them in a glass airtight jar and pour over the liquid. Allow to cool and seal. This will start the pickling process. The longer they are left in the jar the better the result will be. These will last for around 6 weeks.

For the monkfish remove the meat from either side of the bone and trim away any excess skin and membrane, a fishmonger will do this for you. Wash and pat dry – set aside.

For the Dahl heat the oil in a medium sized pan on a low heat with lemon grass, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cardamom. Heat these slowly for around 5-10minutes. This is flavouring the oil that the lentils will be cooked in.

Let the oil cool slightly, pass through a metal sieve keeping the oil. Place the oil back in the pan with the lentils stirring them through the oil, heat gently for 2minutes followed by the coconut milk and 2 stems of mint. Cook this on a low heat until the lentils have soaked up all of the coconut milk, you can add more if you feel it needs it. Check for seasoning and remove the mint stem.

For the cooking of the monkfish have a have pan on a medium heat with a small amount of oil. Season the monkfish with lightly with salt then dust it with the curry powder. Lower the fish carefully in the pan colouring each side before finishing in the oven for around 4- 5 minutes depending on the size. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice.

Build your dish with the lentil dahl in the bottom, scattered with the onions and the monkfish on top. Add fresh coriander and lime zest to finish.