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
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.