Kerala-style sea bream and potato traybake with tangy okra 'chips'

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Anjum Anand's trouble-free traybake makes a fantastic midweek meal, and doesn't skimp on flavour. She bakes potatoes, padron peppers and beautiful fillets of bream in a sumptuous Keralan coconut curry sauce, before finishing the plate with a crispy tower of okra fries. You can swap out the bream for sea bass or similar if you like – the coconut sauce goes perfectly with any white fish.

First published in 2018

This is a really easy, delicious traybake. The Keralan Coconut Curry is a mild Keralan sauce in which the locals love to add fish, chicken or potatoes for the vegetarians. Sticking with those principles, I have made a really easy one-pot meal with some padron peppers instead of green chillies. I love these mini peppers but if you don’t, leave them out or you can add green pepper instead. I have veered from the one pot principle to garnish with a fair tangle of crispy fried okra which, once coated in the very delicious spice blend chaat masala, will add a moreish tangy crunch to the dish. If you don’t have any, deep fry some capers instead for a similar, tangy crunch.




Crispy okra topping

  • 175g of okra, topped and tailed, halved lengthwise and sliced lengthwise into 2–3 slices, depending on how big they are
  • 2 tbsp of gram flour
  • chaat masala, to taste (around 2–3 tsp)


Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 8
Place the cubed potatoes onto a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and season. Roast in the oven for 12 minutes
Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a small pan. When hot, add the whole spices from the spice packet and cook until popping, turning the heat down as they do. Add the sauce and stock to the spices, mix well and set aside
Add the padron peppers to the potatoes, and a little oil if the pan is a little dry. Cook for a further 7 minutes, then check if the potatoes are soft
Preheat several inches of oil to 180°C in a deep saucepan, wok or deep-fryer
Toss the sliced okra in the gram flour until thoroughly coated, then add to the hot oil in two separate batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Cook over a low-medium heat. When crisp, around 5–6 minutes, drain with a slotted spoon and place on a kitchen roll-lined plate. Continue with the next batch. When they are all done, toss in 1 ½ teaspoons of the chaat masala. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary – they should be salty and tangy
Once the potatoes are done, turn the oven down to 180°C/gas mark 4
Make space to put the fish down by moving the potatoes a little. Add he fish fillets, skin-side down, and pour over the sauce. Return to the oven and cook for 8–10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked
Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve with a towering pile of the crispy okra as a delicious garnish over the fish
First published in 2018

Anjum Anand grew up in London but has also lived and studied in Geneva, Paris and Madrid.

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