Roasted Red Mullet with Spicy Tomato Salsa

Bursting with fresh citrus flavours, this dish is a heady mix of Mediterranean and Indian-inspired ingredients which perfectly balance the delicacy of the fish. The key to this recipe, though, is the chaat masala, a versatile spice mix that can also be used in salads and curries and which no kitchen cupboard should be without. The larger Tescos store it, if you can’t get to a specialist grocer or deli.

Kcal: 210 per serving

Saturated fat: 0.8g

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (serves four):

For the spice mix:

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp red chilli flakes

For the mullet:

4 red mullet fillets, weighing

160g each, scaled and boned

Pinch of salt

4-6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

100ml vegetable oil

(or mild olive oil)

For the salsa:

250g ripe tomatoes,

deseeded and sliced

100g red onions, thinly sliced

3 unwaxed lemons, zest finely

grated and fruit segmented

80ml olive oil

1 tsp chaat masala

1-2 thin green chillies,

deseeded and finely chopped

4-6 sprigs of coriander, leaves

picked and chopped

Caster sugar, to taste


Step 1: Roast the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, stirring them around so they don’t burn. Cool slightly then crush them coarsely in a pestle and mortar and add the chilli flakes. Rub this mixture onto the fish fillets and set them aside for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Place the fillets on a baking tray and season them with salt, sprinkle over the sliced garlic cloves and drizzle over the oil. Place them in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the salsa in a mixing bowl, adding salt and sugar to taste.

Step 3: Remove the fish from the oven and place them on warmed plates. Carefully pour any of the juices from the fish into the salsa. Spoon the salsa over the fish and serve.

Eat with...

Wine expert Jane Parkinson suggests the perfect pairing Cayetano del Pino Palo Cortado Viejísimo £18.50 (37.5cl), The Wine Society. A stunning and savvy match with the heat and spice of this dish would be a dry sherry like Palo Cortado. This limited edition vintage is so smooth, supple and rounded it just glides over the tongue, while its flavours of nuts, a little bit of marmalade and a hint of vanilla melt into one another and are seriously moreish.