Market Fish with Chana Masala

, from Issue #85. July, 2019
Photography by Kate Battersby.
Market Fish with Chana Masala

Use whatever fish is freshest on the day. Salmon also works well with the spices in the masala. 

Serves: 4


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons black or yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large brown onion, 
thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons grated 
fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground 
garam masala
¼-½ teaspoon chilli powder
2 x 400-gram tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
400-gram tin crushed tomatoes
½ cup water
600 grams firm white fish fillets, cut into smaller portions
To serve
handful fresh coriander, chopped
½ cup roughly chopped roasted cashew nuts
4 warm flatbreads
1 cup thick plain yoghurt
¼ teaspoon ground paprika



Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook for a few seconds. Add the onion, salt, garlic, ginger and all the spices and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a splash of water if the pan is too dry. 

Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Tip the contents of the pan into large roasting tray and nestle the fish into the sauce, spooning a little over the top of each piece. Transfer to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through.

To serve: Scatter over the coriander and serve with the cashew nuts, warm flatbreads and the yoghurt topped with the paprika.