Mackerel Recheado

SERVES 2

Recheado masala is a fiery and tangy paste from Goa. Traditionally used with fish, it can also be used with chicken or vegetables. It’s wonderful here with fresh, oily mackerel and a crisp kachumber salad.

INGREDIENTS

6 small mackerel, filleted (preferably with the fillets joined by a piece of skin)
Sunflower oil, for cooking
For the recheadao masala paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp crushed dried chillies
1 tsp sea salt flakes
20g garlic, chopped roughly
20g fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped roughly
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
For the kachumber salad
1 very large beef tomato (or 2 large tomatoes), sliced very thinly
1 shallot, sliced very thinly
2 tbsp chopped coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt

METHOD

Grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns and cloves in a spice grinder or with a pestle and mortar. Tip into a food processor with the remaining recheado ingredients and pulse to form a paste.
Spread slightly less than a teaspoon of the paste on one mackerel fillet, 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 fish.
To make the salad, layer the ingredients in a large shallow dish, starting with the tomato, then the shallot, coriander, cumin and cayenne. Sprinkle over the vinegar, then some salt. Don’t mix it up, just leave it to stand while you cook the fish.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a heavy-based pan. When hot, add the mackerel and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown, being careful not to overcook. You may need to do this in two batches.
Mix the salad to combine the ingredients and serve alongside the mackerel.

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