Spice-crusted monkfish in tomato sauce

Spice-crusted monkfish in tomato sauce

Reza’s Indian Spice

A great showing off dish and very simple. Both sauce and spice crust can be made in advance. The two marinades are there for a reason: the first for spiciness, the second to add moisture. The lemon grass gives an almost Thai flavour to the sauce. You could serve this with mashed or boiled potatoes and it would work beautifully.

For the spice mix


Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 dried red chilli

For the fish

Quantity Ingredient
800g monkfish
1 tablespoon vegetable or rapeseed oil

For the first marinade

Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon grated root ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced

For the second marinade

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon grated cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 tablespoon grated root ginger
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped coriander
1 tablespoon double cream

For the tomato sauce

Quantity Ingredient
8 ripe tomatoes, chopped
4 tablespoons ghee or rapeseed oil
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon grated root ginger
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon chilli powder
3 lemon grass stalks, crushed
300ml coconut milk


  1. First make the spice mix. Put all the ingredients in a small frying pan and lightly toast over a low heat, until they turn a shade darker and release their aromas. Coarsely grind in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Place the fish in a flat roasting tray. Mix together all the ingredients for the first marinade. Rub over the fish and cover with cling film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Mix together all the ingredients for the second marinade in a small mixing bowl, folding in the cream at the end. Cover and refrigerate
  4. Now to make the sauce. Blitz the tomatoes with a small amount of water in a blender to a smooth paste. Pass through a fine sieve to remove any seeds. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the bay leaf, ginger and garlic and fry for a minute or so, then add the tomatoes, the cumin, fennel, chilli powder and lemon grass. Bring to the boil, then simmer for five to eight minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking. Now add the coconut milk and continue to simmer until the sauce becomes glossy, then adjust for salt and cook for a minute or so. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. Remove the fish and the bowl of the second marinade from the fridge and bring to room temperature. Pour the second marinade over the fish and sprinkle the spice mix on top. Place in the hot oven and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fish begins to flake. Reheat the tomato sauce over a medium heat and discard the lemon grass. Place the fish on a serving dish and drizzle the sauce around.
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