There are three recipes here- Pan Fried Chickpea Battered Cod with Indian Spices, Crispy Baked Potato Wedges and a Sweet and Hot Carrot Chutney. They are each excellent and worth making on their own if you don’t want to put it all together the same way I did.
The Chickpea Battered Fish is pan friedd rather than deep fried and will be a welcome treat for anyone who is gluten-free and missing fish and chips. It will also be a hit with anyone who wishes there were a little more spice in a typical plate of fish and chips!
Crispy Baked Potato Wedges play the role of “chips” and employ a genious technique that uses very little oil and makes the potatoes as crispy and delicous as a double deep fried chip. I am not sure who invented this method, but I think it might be a British thing? My sister had a holiday meal with our cousin and his British wife who made potatoes using this technique. Since my sister describled it to me, I have found it in two cookbooks by South East Asian authors who live in England. So maybe it is a South East Asian thing? Whoever invented it is a total genius.
The Sweet & Hot Carrot Chutney is just delicous and goes great with the Indian spices in the Chickpea battered fish. It’s also better than ketchup with the chips. Anyone who knows my junk food habits knows that I am not a snob about ketchup. I LOVE ketchup. I’m a proud Canadian lover of Old Dutch ketchup flavoured chips. I put ketchup on my hot dogs and hamburgers. That said, this carrot chutney is better than ketchup. These fish and chips would also be really nice with a cilantro and peanut chutney or a mint & coconut chutney, if the carrot chutney sounds too sweet for you.
Honestly, this plate could use a nice crisp, tart coleslaw to balance it out. Either My Mother’s Asian Slaw or Cabbage, Apple, Fennel Slaw would have been perfect. If you live in North America (excuding the Southern United States) carrots, potatoes and cabbage are the only local food you can get. If you are into eating locally, this is a great meal for this time of year! On the topic of responsible eating, please buy wild caught cod!
Sweet & Hot Carrot Chutney
This can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1 Tablespoon mustard seeds (black mustard seeds, if you can get them)
- 6 carrots, grated
- 1/3 cup minced onion
- 1 inch knob ginger, grated
- 1 habanero pepper (I seeded mine), sliced
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2/3 cups white vinegar
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Heat the oil in a wide skillet and add the black mustard seeds. Cook the seeds until they begin to pop and then add carrots, onion, ginger and habanero. Cook until the carrots just begin to soften a bit (about 10 minutes). Turn the heat down a bit if they begin to stick or burn.
- Add the sugar, vinegar, orange juice and salt. Turn the heat back up and cook until the liquid has reduced and the carrot is soft
- Blend the chutney until it is as smooth as you like. It should be sweet and hot but add more vinegar or salt as needed to suit your taste and balance the flavors.
Crispy Baked Potato Wedges
- 6 Tablespoons mild oil
- 1 Tablespoon of salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 and 1/2 pound russet potatoes, skin on, cut into 6 wedges each.
- Heat the oven to 425.
- Put the potatoes in a large pan with a lid and cover with cold water. Add 1 Tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil.
- Once the potatoes boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Once the potatoes are simmering. Add the oil to a roasting pan or a very large cast iron skillet and place it in the oven to heat the oil.
- After 5 minutes of simmering, drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. Put the lid on and vigorously shake the pan for 2 minutes to create a coating of loosened starch on the potatoes.
- Carefully add the potatoes to the roasting pan, toss them in the heated oil and spread them out. Bake for 40-45 minutes, turning them every 15 minutes so all three sides of the wedges get crispy. Make the fish while the potatoes bake.
Panfried Chickpea Battered Cod with Indian Spices
adapted from Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Saini (this is an amazing cookbook)
- 2 large or 3 small cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup besan (aka garbanzo or chickpea flour)
- 2 Tablespoon mild oil
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 cod fillets, about 6 oz each (I use frozen wild caught cod that has been thawed and patted dry)
- Enough oil to coat the bottom of a frying pan to a depth of 1/4 inch. Choose a mild oil with a high smoke point like corn, or canola.
- Maybe a shallot, small onion, small potato or small turnip (to use up extra batter)
- Grind the garlic and salt into a paste in a mortar and pestle
- Combine the garlic paste, chick pea flour, oil, warm water and spices in bowl and whisk out any lumps. Set aside for half an hour.
- Start the oil heating in a heavy bottomed fring pan (I use cast iron)
- Pat the fish fillets dry. You can cut them in half lenthwise or leave them whole depending on the serving size you want.
- When the oil is hot enough that a tiny drop of the batter sizzles and floats instantly, dip the fish in the batter and let the extra drip off into the bowl. Then, place the battered fish into the hot oil. Repeat with the other fillets. Once the first piece you placed has been cooking for about 3 minutes, carefully flip it and then the others over. They should be golden. If they have gotten too dark, add a splash more oil to cool the pan down. If they are still pale, give them more time. Let the fish fry on the second side for about 3 minutes or until golden.
- Drain the fish on paper towels before serving.
- If there is extra batter, I like to combine it with a bit of sliced onion, scallion, potato or turnip to make a pakora. Tip the hot pan to the side a bit to make all of the oil pool in a deep corner. Drop the pakora batter in and fry it until golden. I usually eat this as a cook’s treat with some of the chutney.
Chaat masala is a spice mix that includes a bit of sour flavour from died mango or dried pomegranate. It is a delicious seasoning for any snack, but I really love it on potatoes or anything fried. You can buy it ready made from an Indian grocery or make your own by combining the following ingredients and keeping them in a sealed container
- 1 Teaspoon cayenne
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons mango powder (amchur)
- 1/2 tsp salt
I recommend sprinkling your chips with chaat Masala and squeezing some fresh lime onto the fish.