Masala fish and chips with ragda

Serves with an Indian version of mushy peas, Cyrus Todiwalla spices up this British classic
By Cyrus Todiwala
Masala fish and chips with ragda
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hr 20 mins
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus soaking overnight
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the ragda

  • 200 g dried white or green peas
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 cm piece ginger, finely sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

For the masala chips

  • 750 g floury potatoes, cut into 4cm pieces
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 1 tsp chilli powder

For the batter

  • 70 g ground rice or rice flour
  • 70 g white lentil flour, (also known as papad flour)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp crushed roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 250-300 ml lager
  • 1 tsp fruit salt, (effervescent powder available from chemists)

For the fish

  • 450-500 g white fish fillets, such as sea bass, cod or plaice
  • plain flour, for dusting

Method

1. For the ragda: soak the peas overnight or for 6-8 hours, then drain. Place the peas in a pan, cover with fresh cold water and boil gently for an hour and then check, if not soft all the way to the middle then cook for a little longer. If the peas retain their shape, break them up with a whisk (the consistency of the ragda has should be like mushy peas).

2. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the cumin seeds and green chilli until the seeds change colour, then add the ginger and garlic and cook on a medium heat until the garlic softens. Stir the mixture into the peas and season well.

3. For the masala chips:
Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until just tender, then drain and leave to rest in the colander to drive off any excess steam.

4. Fill a deep saucepan half full with vegetable oil for 140C, or until a cube of bread dropped in browns within 40 seconds. Fry the potatoes in batches for 2-3 minutes, until pale in colour. Drain the potatoes on kitchen paper, then leave to cool completely.

5. Heat the oil again to 170-180C, or until a cube of bread dropped in browns within 20 seconds. Fry the potatoes again until golden and crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Stir the chilli powder and a teaspoon of salt together, then sprinkle it evenly over the chips. Keep warm until ready to serve

6. For the batter: stir the batter ingredient together in a large bowl until smooth and combined.

7. For the fish: heat the vegetable oil for deep frying again until a cube of bread browns within 20 seconds. Dust the fish fillets lightly in the flour until coated. Dip the fillets in the batter, shake off any excess and deep fry the fish for 5 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

8. Serve the fish with the fried potatoes and ragda.

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