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One of Phil Howard's menu highlights, this dish is a mix of spices, flavours and textures. Try this delicate cod with crispy bhajis and creamy cauliflower



Total time

100 minutes






  • 200 g spinach (washed)
  • olive oil (for frying)
  • 150 g skinless cod fillet (portions, from the head end if possible)
  • ½ onion (finely chopped)
  • vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 tbsp golden raisins
  • 2 tsp nonpareilles capers
  • 50 ml apple juice
  • ½ lime (zested and juiced)
  • 1 tsp coriander (chopped)
  • pinch golden caster sugar
  • 125 g gram flour
  • 1 egg
  • 125 ml milk
  • 1 red onion (very finely sliced)
  • ½ red chilli (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp coriander (chopped)
  • vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • ½ onion (finely sliced)
  • 1 tsp mild curry powder
  • 150 g cauliflower (chopped)
  • 100 ml double cream


  1. To make the dressing, fry the onion in a small, non-stick pan with a splash of oil for 5 mins. Transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the dressing ingredients with a pinch of salt, and leave to macerate for 2 hrs.
  2. To make the bhaji, whisk the flour, egg and milk into a light batter. Add the onion, chilli and coriander with a pinch of salt and set aside for 30 mins.
  3. For the purée, melt the butter over a medium heat in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion, a generous pinch of salt and fry for 5 mins until soft and translucent. Add the curry powder and cook for another 5 mins, then stir in the cauliflower and cook for a few mins more. Pour in the cream, bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 25-30 mins. Transfer to a blender and blend to a smooth purée. Check the seasoning.
  4. Half an hour before you want to serve, heat oven to 160C/140C fan/ gas 3. To fry the bhaji, heat enough oil to half-fill a large pan to 160C. Using a slotted metal spoon, lift the onion mix from the batter and let the excess liquid drain away. Lower into the oil and fry until the slices are crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper, then spread out on a baking tray and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the other elements.
  5. Wilt the spinach in a splash of olive oil, seasoning as you do so, and warm your purée through. Keep both on a low heat while you cook the cod.
  6. Put a non-stick ovenproof pan over a high heat. Season the top of the cod with salt. Add a splash of oil to the pan and put the seasoned side of the cod into the oil. Fry until golden brown, turn down the heat, turn the fish over and roast in the oven for 2-3 mins until just cooked.
  7. To serve, spoon some purée onto four heated plates. Put the spinach alongside and top with a piece of cod. Spoon a generous amount of the dressing onto the cod and garnish the fish with a bhaji.
  8. View the recipe instructions at BBC Good Food


Low carb

Contains allergens

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