Can cabbage be cool? Part two: Hake with spiced cabbage

(Sorry, the shadow of my head got in the way in this picture. Don’t think I’ll ever be David Bailey).

In my continuing investigations into the possibility of cabbage actually being palatable I came across a recipe for Fish Haryali in Ravinder Bhogal’s lovely Cook in Boots recipe book (nicely written, gorgeous photography and some really interesting and unusual recipes – SO keen to try her roasted paprika quails with romesco sauce – sounds amazing!).

I didn’t precisely follow the recipe so the recipe below is rather more “inspired by”than “faithful interpretation”. Ravinder serves monkfish skewers with her cabbage – but this is currently off the menu for me (financial reasons) so I substituted it for some chunky pieces of hake I had languishing in the freezer.

The end result was one of the nicest things I’ve cooked for ages. And the spiced cabbage was absolutely delicious – really crunchy, not too spicy but warming and tasty. Have a go – even if you are a cabbage sceptic – it’s really very good.

Hake and spiced cabbage
2 pieces of hake (from Waitrose – probably about £4 worth I think)
Hake marinade:
– Big knob of ginger
– 2 green chillis
– 4 cloves garlic
– Pinch of tumeric
– Juice and grated peel of one lime
– Tablespoon of yoghurt
Half a white cabbage sliced into shreds
Small handful of fresh curry leaves finely shredded (I can get these in Asda now – hoorah!)
1 finely diced chilli
Teaspoon of black mustard seeds
A pinch of each: asafoetida, turmeric, coriander
Juice of another lime
A little oil or ideally ghee

Whizz up the marinade ingredients in the blender. Marinate the pieces of fish for about an hour – any more than that and I think the fish actually cooks in the lime juice – weird. Remove the fish from the marinade and place in a hot frying pan with a couple of spoonfuls of the marinade and fry on a medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side.

Heat the oil/ghee in a large frying (or a wok would be good actually). Throw the mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, turmeric, coriander into the oil and sizzle until the seeds pop a little. Then add the chilli and after a minute add the cabbage and stir fry for a couple of minutes. When the fish is ready squeeze the lime into the cabbage and serve topped with a piece of fish.


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