Gilded cod with a tamarind sauce

This is another dish inspired by a recipe in The Turmeric Cookbook, the slim volume given to me by Tried & Supplied founder, Domini Hogg. I’ve changed it of course. The version in the book uses a grated yellow onion for example. Well, I hate grating, so in this version I have simply peeled and chopped. Preparation time is about two minutes; cooking time is six or seven.

And I purposely use red onion with this for two reasons. Visually it looks lively with the yellow fish. And there isn’t really the time to allow the onion to cook through completely, as you would need for standard onions. That doesn’t matter with red onions (many people actually eat these raw), and the bright crunchiness of them goes well with the earthy turmeric-coated fish.

This dish is good with new potatoes, or maybe with the fillets served on a bed of mash – potato or celeriac –  and afterwards a yoghurty salad of white spring onions and black onion seeds.


See Golden, Fragrant Salad of Cauliflower and Turmeric for another recipe incorporating turmeric.


cod and tamarind recipe
Red onion – visually it looks lively with the yellow fish.


Recipe for gilded cod with a tamarind sauce

Serves 2


  • 400g/14 oz cod fillets, ideally without skin if you don’t like skin, either two or four pieces
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 60 ml/¼ cup rosé vermouth – or, alternatively you could experiment with sake
  • 1 red onion
  • ½ lime
  • Olive oil for frying


  1. If the cod is frozen make sure it’s defrosted completely. Put the pieces into a shallow dish, which fits them snugly.
  2. In a small bowl mix the tamarind paste, the turmeric, and the hot water. Mix well. Pour over the fish. Leave to marinate for about 20 minutes.
  3. Peel and chop the red onion.
  4. Pour a little oil into a large frying pan and add the red onion, make sure it’s coated with oil. Cook through a little. Push to the edges of the pan.
  5. Put the fillets down in the pan and fry on a medium heat for about three minutes.
  6. Turn the fillets and cook for another three minutes or so.
  7. Turn up the heat. Add the vermouth. Then, once it’s sizzled satisfyingly, reduce the heat, serve the fish and onions, and deglaze the remaining juices onto the fish.


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