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Recipe of the month – winter warmer!

Curried monk fish, fruit & vegetable tagine, puffed black rice

By Erran Buckingham, Development Chef for Vincere Hospitality

As a development chef for Vincere Hospitality, this dish is ideal for our outside events, and also your dinner parties. It looks and smells great, and is perfect for the colder, winter months, due to the element of spice involved.  When creating new menus for Vincere Hospitality, we’re always on the look-out for recipes that a) can be prepped mostly in advance; b) are quick and easy to put together at the point of service; c) make the most of our beautiful array of locally sourced, seasonal produce; and d) look and taste amazing.

Spiced foods have become a staple to English cooking over the years and have become so much more than just a takeaway option for us now. As time passed, and we became more comfortable, confident and experimental using all different types of spices, it could now be argued that curries are as British as your Sunday lunch.

I personally really enjoy and appreciate a good curry due to the fact that it takes a good palate to get the balance of sweet, spice, bitter and sour just right.  So, this month’s dish is a personal favourite, and has proven popular at some of the recent events we’ve catered – it’s the perfect warming dish as the nights draw in…ideal to enjoy with a glass of something cold!

This dish can be created using any type of white meaty fish; monk fish, cod, turbot etc. It is a take on a classic curry; the basic elements are there, but just done with a twist.

This is also a great vegetarian dish if you just replace the fish with baked halloumi and switch the stock to a vegetable base. In essence it is a good hearty dish that uses the best of autumn/winter produce, all of which we source locally where possible.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

400g monk fish tail (or fish of your choice)

6 tbsp medium curry powder

1tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp honey

100g black wild rice

1 carrot (diced)

½ leek (diced)

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

2 medium white onions (diced)

2 sticks of celery (diced)

50g raisins/sultanas

50g dried apricot (sliced)

200ml fresh chicken stock (or veg stock)

Salt and pepper to season

300ml vegetable oil


Lightly salt your fish and then roll it in 3tbsp of curry powder, wrap it tightly in cling film so it resembles a sausage shape and leave in the fridge to infuse and shape for at least 2 hours.

Dice up the fruit and vegetables.

In a medium sized sauce pan add a knob of butter and a drizzle of vegetable oil and set the stove to a medium heat.

Add your diced/sliced/crushed fruit and vegetables with a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan and sweat down for 5 minutes stirring continuously so the mixture doesn’t burn.

At this stage the mix should be vibrant in appearance, and about half cooked so you can add the remaining curry powder, spices, honey and stock to the pan and return to the heat until the stock has reduced by half.

Now put the fruit and veg mix to one side and get a new medium sized saucepan and add the 300ml of vegetable oil to it, place on high heat until it reaches 200 degrees.

Be careful as the oil is extremely hot, add the black rice to the oil, as soon as the rice puffs you will need to strain and remove the oil.

Place your puffed rice onto a plate and season with plenty of salt to taste, this should resemble an earthy popcorn flavour.

Place your puffed rice onto a plate and season with plenty of salt to taste, this should resemble an earthy popcorn flavour.

Once the fish has been refrigerated for at least 2 hours, remove the cling film and place into a hot frying pan to colour the outside, then place in the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.

While the fish is cooking you can reheat your tagine mix.  Once hot place in a bowl with a handful of rice over the top and finish with the curried fish.
For more information on how we can help you for those bigger parties, visit or call 01507 605763.