In the second part of the Lentils Series Gastrotastic brings you a dish that could belong in an early noughties cookbook, so heavy is the fusion cuisine vibe. However, my justification is that I currently live in London, so different cultural influences and flavours are inevitably going to collide. The lentils featured today are a black variety, also known as Urad, except rather than teaming them up with more Chappatis (although of course you can), I am bringing baked cod and samphire to the party. If you plate this well, it can look terribly impressive for dinner party guests, although you can equally serve and go for a midweek feast.
In the Gastrotastic kitchen we are listening to Ibibio Sound System’s Chop Chop. An appropriate title for a song to cook to if there ever was one, but also from a group that are very much a fusion themselves – put Afrobeat and Electro in a blender and you would get something as sublime as this served up for your ears. We are officially fans of their music and the dish below.
Baked Cod with Urad Lentils and Samphire
Difficulty Rating: Easy-Peasy
400grams of Cod Fillets (approximately 4 – 5 pieces)
250grams of Urad Lentils
500mls of Fish Stock
I tin of Tomatoes
1 Red Onion (chopped finely)
1 Clove of Garlic
2 Echalion Shallots (finely chopped)
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Finger sized piece of Ginger
2 Red Chillis
90grams of Samphire
50grams of Butter
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of Vegetable Oil
Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)
Urad Lentils belong to the side of the legume family that needs a good long soak before cooking. One night before you intend to cook this dish put the lentils into a pan and cover with cold water and soak overnight.
Drain the water away and pour fish stock into the pan with the lentils – bring to the boil and keep at a steady simmer cooking for 1.5 – 2 hours. You may need to add water to the pan to stop the lentils sticking to the bottom.
While the lentils are cooking chop the onions and fry them in vegetable oil for a few minutes or until translucent and add the garlic, ginger and chilli, taking care not to burn the additional ingredients. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes or until greatly reduced. Combine this sauce with the cooked lentils and put aside. You can always re-heat this dish, but it is essential that it is ready before the fish or samphire which needs to be served the moment they are cooked.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade (Gas Mark 6) and season the cod fillets, brushing lightly with olive oil and bake for 25 – 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet.
About 5 minutes before you take the cod out of the oven melt the butter in a heavy based pan and sauté the samphire for 3 – 5 minutes.
To assemble, place a puddle of Black Lentils on a plate, then the cod fillet and finally the samphire – flavours of the sea by way of the Indian Ocean and the English Channel – a delish mix