Brown mustard seed ocean trout with black basil butter

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  •  
  • Trout
  • 150 gm channa dhal, soaked overnight in cold water and drained (see note)
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida (optional, see note)
  • 100 gm unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch purple basil, leaves picked
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 100 gm mustard seeds
  • 8 180gm pieces ocean trout, skin removed and pin boned
  • 100 ml thick Greek-style yoghurt
  • For shallow frying: peanut oil
  • 160 gm cultured unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 limes, juice only
  •  
  • Salsa
  • 1 small Spanish onion
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed
  • ½ bunch coriander leaves, finely shredded
01   Place channa dhal and asafoetida in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 90 minutes or until dhal begins to disintegrate. Set aside. Heat unsalted butter in a large frying pan until it begins to brown, add a quarter of the basil and all of the onion and cook over high heat for 2 minutes or until just softened. Add dhal and cook for 3 minutes or until just thickened. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
02   Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare a plate of brown mustard seeds, reserving 1 tsp. Smear trout with yoghurt, press top down onto plate with mustard seeds and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat peanut oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Cook fish, mustard seed-side down, for 30 seconds, transfer to oven and cook for 5 minutes.
03   Cook cultured butter in a saucepan until it just begins to colour, add remaining basil leaves, remaining mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook over high heat until basil is crisp and butter is brown. Dip base of the pan into cold water to arrest cooking. Reheat before using.
04   For salsa, finely dice onion, tomato and chilli and combine with coriander leaves.
05   Divide dhal mixture between plates, top with a tablespoon of salsa and fish. Spoon basil butter over fish, drizzle with lime juice and scatter with remaining salsa.
Note Channa dhal are split chickpeas. Asafoetida is a powdered gum resin with a strong onion-garlic flavour. Both are available from Indian grocery stores.

Recipe:

PHILLIP SEARLE

Photography:

CON POULOS

Styling:

RODNEY DUNN

Drinking Suggestion:

GRENACHE ROSÉ. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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