Lynda says: "There are two ingredients in the paste that may be unfamiliar. Chaat masala is a combination of eight spices, which can be bought in ground form. This is a very mild spice that has a sweet and sour tang and is traditionally brushed over chicken tandoori or grilled fruit chaat, typical street food. Fenugreek leaves come from the fenugreek plant and are available in dried form. They have a very different flavour to fenugreek seeds, which come from the same plant. The choice of fish will vary according to availability. Other options to the brill listed here are John Dory, turbot, halibut or sea bass."


  • 4 x 170g fillets of brill
  • salt
  • 4 tblsp gram flour (chickpea flour) or plain flour
  • 4 tblsp vegetable oil
  • fresh coriander sprigs or micro leaves, to garnish
  • For the green spice paste:
  • 50 g fresh mint leaves
  • 50 g fresh coriander leaves
  • 20 g fresh ginger, peeled and scraped
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded
  • 1 tblsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp chaat masala
  • 11/2 tsp fenugreek leaf powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • For the oven-roasted tomatoes:
  • 1 tblsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 strings of tomatoes on the vine or 20 baby tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chaat masala
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • sea salt


  • To make the green spice paste: Whizz all the ingredients for the spice paste in a blender.
  • To make the oven-roasted tomatoes: Heat the oil in an ovenproof pan and when hot, add the cumin seeds. After about 10 seconds, add the chopped onions and toss them around for a minute or two. Add the ginger and remaining spices to the onions and toss to mix. Sit the tomatoes on top (keeping them in bunches if they are on the vine). Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and cook until the tomatoes start to wilt, about 5–8 minutes.Keep warm.
  • To prepare the fish: Pat the fish dry and season. Spread the green spice paste generously over the flesh and skin side of the fish. Leave to marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes or longer.
  • Sieve some gram flour onto a plate. Dip both sides of the brill in the flour and shake off the excess.
  • Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. When the oil is hot, place the fish, flesh side down, in the pan. Cook for a few minutes, until the surface turns golden brown. Turn the fish over onto the skin side and cook for a few more minutes, until the skin starts to colour. The exact length of time will depend on the thickness of the fillets. If the fish is quite thick, transfer the fillets to the oven for a few minutes to finish the cooking. Remove and place on a piece of kitchen paper.
  • To serve, spoon some of the oven-roasted tomatoes and onions into the centre of the plate. Sit the fish on top. Garnish with a sprig of coriander or a few micro leaves and serve.


From Lynda's Table is available from all good bookstores and The Dublin Cookery School,