A quick and delicious way to cook fish with a summery, barbecued feel is griddled massalla fish. The griddle has to be thoroughly pre-heated on a low heat and I find that the best cooking oil for extra crispy and non-oily fish skin, is avocado oil. I have used coconut oil in the past and that also works well, and gives a fragrant coconut flavour to the dish.
The spiced coating can be made fresh by blitzing up some garlic, onion, chilli and ginger spiced with salt and garam massalla. For tonight’s dish I used some pre-cooked tomato massalla which I already had in the freezer.
I use sea bass fillets, although any thin fish fillet can be used. I briefly rinse the fish and blot dry thoroughly, with kitchen paper. A small amount of cooking oil goes onto the pre-heated griddle tilted to ensure an even coating. The fish fillets are placed skin down and a spoon of the massalla mix is put on top and flattened to cover the flesh. The fish cooks slowly for a few minutes, on a low heat until the edges of the skin start to look caramelised and curl slightly. I then use two wooden spatulas to carefully peel the fish off the griddle without breaking the skin and then flip over, keeping the spiced coating intact. A few minutes on this side and the fish is ready to be served, either with a small salad as a starter, or perhaps with cumin rice and a split lentil curry as a main.