Spiced Coley with Red Lentil Dhal and Lemon

Flaky and meaty like cod, coley is both sustainable and amazing value for money. Like lentils it’s relatively neutral flavour makes it an ideal choice for marinating with herbs & spices. If you live in, or around Greenwich, you can get fantastic fresh coley from Julian Pryke, the fishmonger on Greenwich’s Circus Street.


Spiced Coley with Red Lentil Dhal and Lemon – Serves 4

Preparation time – 45 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes

4 portions of coley – marinated as below
1 shallot – peeled & finely diced
2 cl garlic – chopped
½ inch ginger – peeled & chopped
1 chili – deseeded & chopped
Pinch of saffron, turmeric, ground cinnamon & cardamom
1 tsp each of ground coriander & cumin
1 bay leaf
1 tsp tomato puree
50ml red lentils – thoroughly washed
200ml fish stock or water
1 lemon
Small bunch coriander

  • To make the spiced coley process 1 shallot, 2 cloves of garlic, a small piece ginger, 1 de-seeded red chilli, a pinch of saffron, 4 tablespoons of yoghurt, and the juice of half a lemon. Rub into the coley and marinate for about 2 hours.
  • For the dhal sweat off the shallot in a little oil (or ghee) until soft. Add the garlic, chili and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the spices & bay leaf and cook for 1 minute – this is important, as the spices must fry first or they will taste raw no matter how long they are cooked afterward.
  • Add the tomato puree and cook over a low heat for a minute.
  • Stir in 2 cups of washed red lentils and the stock or water, bring to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
  • Blend to a rough puree and season, adding lemon juice and chopped coriander to taste.
  • Pan-fry the coley in a non-stick pan in a little oil until a golden brown crust develops, turn over and continue cooking on the other side until cooked through.

2 thoughts on “Spiced Coley with Red Lentil Dhal and Lemon

    1. Sorry – that’s an important step to miss out – have added now. Pan fry on both sides in a non-stick pan until a nice crust develops. Depending on thickness it should take about 3 minutes on the first side and 2 on the other.

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