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Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s Roasted Hake with Fenugreek Onions

by The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Team, Yotam Ottolenghi, Noor Murad from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things

Fragrant fenugreek and coriander seed-spiced onions top tender hake fillets and creamy, herbed peas in this flavour-packed dish from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team.

From the book

Yotam Ottolenghi, Noor Murad, The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Team


This easy, flavoursome dish is made super special thanks to the spice mix used in the fenugreek onions. It’s worth sourcing hake from your local fishmonger; try to get fatter fillets rather than tail ends, and if you can’t get hake, then cod or other meaty white fish will do just as well. Serve with oven fries, if you like.

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4 (each about 150g) hake fillets, skin and pinbones removed
2 lemons, 1 tbsp juice and 1 cut into 4 wedges
salt and black pepper
For the fenugreek onions:
¾ tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
8 cardamom pods, shells discarded and seeds reserved
⅓ tsp ground turmeric
90ml olive oil
80g unsalted butter, cut into 1½cm cubes
3 (360g) onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped, seeds and all
2¼ tsp caster sugar
For the herby, yoghurty peas:
15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
10g picked mint leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 (15g) green chilli, roughly chopped, seeds and all
60g Greek-style yoghurt
1½ tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
350g peas, defrosted
200g broad beans, defrosted and skins removed (or 200g extra peas)

Essential kit

You will need: a spice grinder and a 30cm x 20cm baking dish.

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Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.

Make the fenugreek onions by starting with the spice mix. Add the fenugreek, coriander, cumin and cardamom seeds to a small frying pan and toast on a medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the heat and add the turmeric, then transfer to a spice grinder and blitz until smooth. Measure out 1 teaspoon and set both aside while you cook the onions.

Put 3 tablespoons of the oil and 20g of the butter into a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and ½ teaspoon of salt, then turn the heat down to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly golden. Add the chilli and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the larger amount of spice mix and 2 teaspoons of the sugar, stir for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.

Put the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, 40g of the butter, the remaining ¼ teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of spice mix and ¼ teaspoon of salt into a 30cm x 20cm baking dish and mix together (don’t worry about the butter not being melted). Season the fish fillets all over with ⅓ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Top each fillet with the onion mixture in an even layer, then gently transfer to the baking dish. Dot the top of the fish with the remaining 20g of butter. Roast for 15 minutes, or until just cooked through (roast for less time if your fillets are smaller). Spoon over the tablespoon of lemon juice. Gently transfer the fillets to a serving platter and pour over the butter mixture.

Meanwhile, prepare the peas. Put the coriander, mint, garlic, chilli, yoghurt, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper into the small bowl of a food processor and blitz until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Put the peas, broad beans, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and ½ teaspoon of salt into a medium saucepan and place it on a medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3–4 minutes, just to heat through without losing their colour. Off the heat, stir in the herby yoghurt and transfer the peas to a serving bowl. Serve this alongside the hake, with the lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Extra good thing: Fenugreek onions:

– Keep in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to 3 days, sealing the top of the onions with a little oil.

– Not into fish? You could give cauliflower steaks the same treatment here, pre-roasting the cauliflower first before topping with the onions.

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From the book: Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things

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