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Week 2: Cod with panch phoran topping

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This meal was a combination of two different fish recipes. The original inspiration came from a booklet from the British Heart Foundation which I found myself reading at lunchtime on Friday. This recipe was for sea bass with panch phoran (which is an Indian spice mix - the name literally means '5 spices' but the mix is very different to the more common chinese 5-spice).

I didn't have any panch phoran but was fortunate to have all the individual spices in the kitchen. I started by putting equal amounts of Cumin,Fennel,Black Onion, Fenugreek and Yellow Mustard seeds into a pestle and mortar and started to crush them. I added a pinch of coarse sea salt to help crush the seeds.

The breadcrumb topping was based on a recipe from the BBC website. Their original recipe used herbs and garlic as seasoning but I simply used the spice mix instead.

Cod with breadcrumb topping

To make the breadcrumb topping, I took 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, added ½ a teaspoon of each of:

  • the spice mix,
  • chilli flakes
  • turmeric

along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mixed everything together before spreading it over the fish. I baked it in the oven at gas mark 6 for around 15-20 minutes.

Cod with spicy breadcrumb topping

Now I think this is the first time I've ever made a breadcrumb topping for fish and it surprised me by how quick it was to make. The spice mix went well with the fish.