Pan fried hake with 'methi' sauce

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Don’t miss our executive chef Neil Haydock showing us how to cook this tasty dish at Fifteen Cornwall’s Spring Fayre this Saturday 14 March 2015. Watch, learn and then be inspired to cook it at home with our special recipe.


Fenugreek, known as ‘Methi’ in Hindi, is nutritious both as a herb (dried or fresh) or seed (spice). It is an annual plant with leaves consisting of three small oblong leaflets. The hotel buys Fenugreek fresh from an Indian market, but keep a look out for it in larger supermarkets or from farm shops.


Serves three
500g onions
20g garlic
20g peeled ginger
200ml pomace oil
10g garam masala
5g ground fenugreek
5g ground turmeric
2 (400g) tins of peeled chopped tomatoes
1 bunch of picked fresh fenugreek washed and dried
Cornish sea salt to taste
4 hake fillets, about 125g/5oz each
200g rice


1. Peel and roughly chop the onions, garlic and ginger and place into the blender and puree.

2. In a large saucepan, place the pomace oil and the onion puree.

3. Place over a medium heat and cook gently for at least 20 minutes occasionally stirring. This drives off the moisture to concentrate the sweetness and flavour.

4. Add the garam masala, fenugreek and ground turmeric and cook for a further 3 or 4 minutes ensuring the mixture doesn’t catch.

5. Add the tinned tomatoes, season lightly with the salt and bring to a simmer.

6. Chop the fenugreek leaves, add to the sauce and cook out for 20 minutes remembering to check for seasoning.

7. Season the hake and heat the 2 tbsp oil in the frying pan.

8. Place the hake, skin-side down, in the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes over a medium high heat to crisp up the skin.

9. Flip the fish over and cook for a further 3-5 minutes until cooked through.

10. Spoon the methi onto the plate, place the hake on top and serve with rice.

11. This sauce can be used as a base and is good with fish, vegetables, poultry and lamb, and can be served with rice.