Cape Malay pickled fish “tacos”

14 servings Prep: 1 hr 30 mins, Cooking: 25 mins
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Serve with a dollop of raita and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

By Food24 March 27 2015
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Ingredients (26)

1 onion — large, finely sliced
1 tsp oil
1 curry powder — medium
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander — seeds
2 bay leaves
2 curry leaves
3 cloves
4 black peppercorns — whole
180 ml vinegar — brown
150 ml water
3 jam — apricot
3 sultanas — optional
1/2 tsp salt
1,5 tsp flour — cake
500 g hake — fillet
1/4 cup flour — seasoned
2 oil
fresh coriander — handful, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper — to taste
ROTI TACOS (makes 14):
350 g flour — cake
2 ml Baking powder
1 tsp salt
400 ml water — ice cold
80 g butter — softened
1/2 cup flour — for rolling
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Heat medium heavy based pot and fry the onions with all the spices in a little oil for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, water, jam, sultanas and salt, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes – the onions should be cooked but still have a bite to them.

Make a paste using some of the cooking liquid mixed with the flour and add to the sauce stirring all the while to thicken it up a bit. Season to taste.
Cut the fish into 6 thin portions. Coat with seasoned flour.
Heat the oil in a large heavy based frying pan fry the fish in batches for 3- 5 minutes(depending on thickness) – if fish begins to flake, remove.

Layer the fish, onion, sultanas and coriander in a shallow medium dish. Pour the sauce all over the the fish making sure everything is covered in it.
Cover and make sure it is airtight and chill in the fridge until ready to eat. It tastes better on the 3rd day.

Roti tacos

Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor and add the water. Blend until it comes together to form pliable dough. With floured hands remove and place onto a floured surface. It is important not to overwork the dough it will become tough and difficult to roll.  Divide the dough into 14 equal pieces and roll into balls.
On a floured surface each into round discs about 10 cm diameter.  Make the dough or discs you are not busy with with a damp towel to prevent drying out.

Spread butter onto each disc and fold into quarters (will look like mini crêpes). Cover with clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then gently form them into balls again and repeat the process one more time and chill covered again for at least 20 minutes or when ready to roll out and fry. This process makes the rotis nice and flaky.
When ready, gently form into balls again and roll out into discs for the final time.

Fry in a hot lightly oiled heavy based frying pan until dark blisters form, then turn over to brown the other side and turn again until they puff up a bit. Then remove and slap between your hands – this also brings on more flakiness . If your hands are fragile, use oven gloves so you don’t burn yourself.
Keep warm wrapped in foil.

To serve

Spoon some pickled fish onto mini rotis and fold to resemble a taco – you may need to use small skewers to keep them intact. Serve with dollop of raita (yoghurt combined with finely grated cucumber, chopped coriander and mint). Warm roti, cold spicy pickled fish with refreshing raita.

Recipe reprinted with permission of Bits of Carey.


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