Mark Best's yellow dal with red mullet

Spices fried in hot oil add an extra layer of flavour to the red mullet and yellow dal.
Spices fried in hot oil add an extra layer of flavour to the red mullet and yellow dal. Photo: William Meppem

I love the flavour of red mullet but you could use salmon or ocean trout instead. Adding spices fried in hot oil at the end provides an extra layer of flavour.
 

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g yellow dal or yellow split peas
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 20ml grapeseed oil   
  • 50g onion, chopped
  • 5g ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped 
  • 50g tomato, chopped
  • ½ tsp chilli powder, or to taste
  • 6 small red mullet fillets
  • 50g fine semolina
  • 50g ghee 

To serve

  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 3 pieces dried red chilli
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • pinch of ground asafoetida
  • 2 tsp coriander leaves

METHOD

  1. Rinse the dal in running water until it runs clear. 
  2. Heat 2 cups of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add dal, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, salt and grapeseed oil, stir and simmer for 15-20 minutes until dal is tender but still has a little texture.
  3. While the dal is cooking, heat the ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add chopped onion and saute until it turns light brown. Add ginger and chopped green chilli and saute for 30-40 seconds, until it becomes aromatic, then add chopped tomato. Stir, then add remaining turmeric and chilli powder and cook until the tomato is soft. Add the cooked dal, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5-6 minutes, stirring well as it cooks. Remove it from heat and transfer to a serving dish.
  4. Pour the fine semolina onto a plate and dip the mullet fillets in to lightly coat.
  5. Heat the ghee in a non-stick frypan over high heat, place the fillets in the pan, skin side down, and sprinkle with a little salt. Fry until crisp and the flesh starts to become opaque. You won't need to turn them over.
  6. Place the fish on top of the dal.
  7. To finish, "temper" some spices by heating ghee in a small frypan over high heat. Add the chilli, cumin and asafoetida and let them sizzle, then pour over the mullet and dal. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Serves 3-4

This recipe is from episode three of Good Food's new TV show, Good Food Kitchen, screening on Channel 9 at 1pm Saturday, October 23, or catch up on 9Now.