Jena’s Fish and Chips

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Settler's Cookbook

By Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Published 2009

  • About


  • 2 lb haddock or cod fillets, fresh, frozen and thawed


  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 lime
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3 tbsp water


  • 1 egg
  • ¼ pint half skimmed milk and half water
  • ½ tsp paprika powder
  • 4 oz plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt


  • 2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into large chips
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée or tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • Oil for deep-frying


  • Whiz the marinade in a food processor.
  • Dry the fish by patting it with kitchen paper then cover well in the marinade, cover and chill for three to five hours. It should take on a lovely, fresh green colour.
  • Meanwhile make the batter.
  • Add the salt and paprika to the flour and then the egg.
  • Stirring with a balloon whisk, add in the liquid; there should be no lumps.
  • Cover and leave.
  • Peel and cut the potatoes, and soak in water.
  • Spread potatoes on clean tea towels, and let the water soak out.
  • Heat the oil in a wide vessel suitable for deep-fat frying. The oil needs to be very hot. (This is hazardous, so best not to do it when you have just been dumped.)
  • Throw in some dried-off chips and step back, for there will be some spitting.
  • Cook until light brown and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Keep warm in the oven at a low temperature.
  • Take each piece of fish, shake off excess marinade, dip in batter, and fry quickly in the oil, turning over three to four times until the batter crisps up.
  • Drain off excess oil on kitchen paper.
  • Take the pan off the cooker.
  • Into a frying pan, transfer a tablespoon of the hot oil and boil the remaining marinade until it thickens.
  • Add the garam masala and tomato purée or ketchup.
  • Serve fish on a large plate with slices of lime, surrounded by chips over which the masala sauce has been poured. Live to tell the tale.