mackerel recheado with katchumber salad

i fancied something very spicy last week so i thought i'd make this crazy-sounding recipe from rick stein. it was crazy-tasting too but makes a nice change from the usual mackerel dishes.

you'll end up with more paste than you need so stick in in a plastic container and freeze it to use later. which is quite handy, as making it is quite laborious.

i'd thoroughly recommend the salad too, as as accompaniment to this or any other dinner of the same ilk. i think the shallot or the red onion has to be sliced very thinly so don't even think about it even you don't have a mandolin or a very sharp knife.

for 2

6 small mackerel, filleted (but preferably so the fillets are still joined by a piece of skin)
for the goan masala paste:
1tsp cumin
2tsp coriander
2tsp black peppercorns
1tsp whole cloves
1tsp tumeric
110g red chillies, chopped
1tsp salt
6 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly
5cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped roughly
1tbs tamarind water
2tbs red wine vinegar

katchumber salad:
1 very large beef tomato, sliced very thinly
1 shallot, sliced very thinly
2tbs chopped coriander
1/4tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1tbs white wine vinegar

grind the cumin, coriander, peppercorns and cloves in a spice grinder. i use the coffee grinder i am not sure i will ever be able to use for coffee again unless i want it to taste like curry. chuck that and the other paste ingredients in a food processor and whizz until you have a paste.

now spread a little of the paste on one mackerel fillet - i'd say around a teaspoon or a bit less, then top with the other. take two pieces of kitchen string and tie around the fish to keep the fillets together. repeat with the other five.

when ready to eat, ]fry the mackerel parcels in a little olive oil in a heavy based pan for around 3 minutes on each side.

before you do that, make the salad. use a large shallow dish, then layer the ingredients in the order in which they are listed. so a layer of tomatoes, a layer of onions, a sprinkling of coriander, cumin and caynne, then the vinegar, then salt. don't mix it up, just leave it to stand while you cook the fish.


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