Sea bream with corn roti and unripe mango

Sea bream with corn roti and unripe mango

This recipe is based on my mother’s description of how Sufriano used to cook the fish my grandfather bought from fishermen on the Nile. The tasty marinade will work with most white fish. You’ll need a grill pan for the fish and a 10-12 cm round bowl, mug or pastry cutter for the rotis.

Serves 4

For the fish
4 sea bream (250g–300g), gutted 
4 tbsp rapeseed oil 
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chilli powder
¾ tsp turmeric 
Juice of 1 lemon

For the mango relish
1 large green unripe mango 
1½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt 
1 tbsp lemon juice 
A pinch of chilli powder
40g coriander, finely chopped

For the roti
140ml warm water
200g fine cornmeal
100g plain flour
⅔ tsp salt
Rapeseed oil 

2 green finger chillies, finely sliced
1cm ginger, grated

1 With a sharp knife make 2 or 3 diagonal slits on each side of the fish. Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl, then rub the mix into the slits. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and up to a few hours.

Next, make the mango relish. Peel the skin off the mango with a vegetable peeler. Chop into large chunks then grate the flesh into a bowl. Add the sugar, salt, lemon juice and chilli powder then mix. Leave to one side. (Mix the coriander in just before serving.)

To make the corn roti mix you’ll need 140ml hot water. For the roti, mix 70ml cold water with 70ml boiling water and leave in a jug to one side. Next, add the cornmeal, flour and salt together in a bowl and mix.

Next, add 1 tbsp oil and rub through with your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the chilli and ginger and then, bit by bit, add the water (you might not need it all) into the mixture until it becomes a and soft, pliable dough.

Take half of the dough and roll it out on to a floured surface to 5mm thick. Take a 10cm bowl, a large mug or small plate, turn upside down and press into the dough to create discs. Do the same with the other half of the dough.

To cook the roti, heat a frying pan over a high heat, drizzle a little oil into the pan and cook 2-3 roti at a time for around 3 minutes, turning every minute or so until cooked through. Wrap in foil to keep warm and leave to one side.

To cook the fish, heat the grill pan until smoking hot, then reduce to medium. Add two fish at a time to the pan and spoon a little of the marinade on top. Leave to cook for 4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for 4 minutes on the other. Remove carefully and fry the other two fish. Serve at once with the relish and roti encouraging people to get stuck in with their hands.