Oven roast fillet of cod with wilted spinach, curried red lentil dahl and crispy fried onions
Heat the vegetable stock in a saucepan. Heat the oil in a separate large saucepan. Finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Add to the pan and saute for 5 minutes, before adding the spices and cooking for a further minute. Finely chop the roots of the coriander and add to the pan with the onions. Roughly chop the leaves and reserve for later. Add the lentils to the pan with the onions and pour in the stock. Stir well, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are cooked and beginning to break down into a thick soupy consistency. Remove from the heat, add the chopped coriander and the juice of 1-2 limes. Season to taste.
Wash the spinach thoroughly and remove any thick stalks. Pack into a large saucepan, cover with a lid and place over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Drain through a colander and squeeze out as much moisture as possible without damaging the leaves. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the spinach and season to taste, adding a little grated nutmeg.
Heat a deep fryer to 150c. Finely slice the onions, salt well and leave in a colander for 30 minutes, squeezing out as much water as possible every 5-10 minutes. Dry with kitchen towel. Place carefully into the deep fryer and cook for 5-10 minutes separating with a fork until deep golden brown. Remove and spread out onto a tray lined with a j cloth to drain.
Preheat the oven to 220c. Sprinkle the fish generously with salt and leave to one side for 15 minutes for excess moisture to be drawn out. Rinse lightly with cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Heat the oil in a non stick pan and place the cod in skin side up, cook on a high heat for 2 minutes then add the butter. Continue to cook for 1 more minute on a high heat then transfer to the oven for 4 minutes.
Remove from the oven, leave to rest for 2 minutes, then peel off and discard the skin. Serve the fish browned side up.
Place a large spoonful of the dahl into the centre of the plate, top with the spinach. Place the cod on top and sprinkle with the crispy onions.
«Salting the fish beforehand will firm up the flesh, making it easier to cook and seasoning it throughout.»