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Fish Finger Bhorta

Nigella Fish Finger Bhorta

This fish finger recipe is a definite keeper. Rather than your usual fish finger recipe such as the good old fish finger sandwich, you really should try this instead. I am absolutely certain you will love it!

Fish Finger Bhorta. A coulouful dish of fish fingers with red onion, chillies and spinach.

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Just a few simple ingredients and 30 minutes later you have a very moreish, must-make again recipe.

After watching the first episode on BBC I just had to buy Nigella's book Cook, Eat Repeat.

In the book, Nigella says;

'I am so grateful to the political journalist Ash Sarkar for this new love in my life.

Up until now, I had thought the fish finger found its greatest expression in a fish finger sandwich, which for all my expounding on the subject, I don’t consider the stuff of recipes; the fish finger bhorta is a different matter entirely.

Please note: Nigella's recipe uses 12 fish fingers and she doubles the rest of the ingredients as she says 'Serves 2 with essential leftovers'.

but just in case we weren't too impressed I decided to halve the recipe as shown in the recipe card below. If you want the HUGE version pop over to Nigella Lawson's website.

Fish Finger Bhorta - Nigella Lawson

Cook the onions over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until pale gold and soft.

Add the chilli and cook for 3 minutes, stirring all the while.

Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook, still stirring, for another 2 minutes. Spoon in the mustard and salt, stirring to combine.

Onions and chillies in a frying pan

Add the spinach and allow it to wilt in the pan for 2–3 minutes, stirring regularly, then squeeze in the lime juice.

Making fish finger bhorta, onions and spinach with chillies in a frying pan.

What is Bhorta?

Basically, bhorta is a mixture of pretty much any vegetables, or fish with a base that typically combines mustard, garlic, onions, and red chilli peppers.

So, you can add whatever you like to eat, fry it all up and then mash it together; this is the simplest of Bangladeshi comfort food.

In Nigella's recipe onions are cooked until soft, with garlic, ginger and chillies, dolloped with mustard, and with crispy fish fingers mashed into the pan at the end, with coriander, spinach and lime.

How to make Pink Pickled Onions

It's important to know that you really need to make the red pickled onions at least 2 hours before you use them; only so they have enough time to actually pickle and turn a gorgeous pink.

Then all you do is very thinly slice a red onion and pop it into a jar. Cover with red wine vinegar and leave it until you're ready to use it.

Fish Finger Bhorta

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

fish finger bhorta recipe, fish finger bhorta Nigella Lawson, cook eat repeat book
Nigella Lawson, snack, main, fish
Indian
Yield: 2
Author: Nigella Lawson
Fish Finger Bhorta

Fish Finger Bhorta

Nigella's recipe uses 12 fish fingers and she doubles the rest of the ingredients as she says 'serves 2 with essential leftovers'.The recipe below is halved already.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 30 MinInactive time: 2 HourTotal time: 2 H & 40 M

Ingredients

For the pink-pickled onions
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • red wine vinegar, to cover
For the bhorta
  • 6 fish fingers
  • 1½ tbsps cold-pressed rapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion - very thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli - seeds removed, if preferred, and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh root ginger
  • 1 large garlic cloves - crushed or grated
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes (or ½tsp fine sea salt)
  • 60g/2oz baby spinach
  • ½ lime - juice only
  • 1½ tbsps roughly chopped fresh coriander, plus more to garnish

Instructions

Make the pink pickled onions
  1. Make your pink-pickled onions as far in advance as you can: at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  2. Place the red onion in a jar with a lid, or simply into a bowl that you can cover.
  3. Pour over the red wine vinegar (or lime juice), pressing down on the onions until they are all just immersed.
  4. Put the lid on the jar or cover your bowl, and leave the onions to steep.
When you’re ready to make the bhorta, preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7
  1. Put the fish fingers on a baking tray and cook for approximately 20-25 minutes, which may be slightly longer than the packet directs, but ensures the breadcrumb coating is really crisp.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan (I use a wok-shaped stir-fry pan).
  3. Cook the onions over a medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until pale gold and soft.
  4. Add the chilli and cook for 3 minutes, stirring all the while.
  5. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook, still stirring, for another 2 minutes.
  6. Spoon in the mustard and salt, stirring to combine.
  7. Add the spinach and allow to wilt in the pan for 2–3 minutes, stirring regularly, then squeeze in the lime juice.
  8. Take the pan off the heat while you get the fish fingers. Break them up a bit with a spatula and then add to the pan.
  9. Toss everything together, breaking them up further and mashing them into the pan, then sprinkle over the coriander.
  10. Serve topped with the pink-pickled onions and extra coriander.
Did you make this recipe?
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