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Adjust Servings:
Pickled Carrots
3 Carrots peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon ajwain seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
½ teaspoon onion seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/3 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon Salt
Vegetable Oil enough to cover the carrots
300 grams rock salt
4 x 130 grams monkfish fillets
4 tablespoons Purnell’s Masala Spice Mix
25 grams Butter
Red Lentils
splash vegetable oil
peeled and chopped
½ Onion peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
225 grams dried red lentils
500 millilitres Chicken Stock
½ red chilli finely chopped
2 tablespoons coriander chopped, heaped
½ juice of lime juice only
Coconut Garnish
400 millilitres can full-fat coconut milk
1 kaffir lime leaf
pinch salt
½ fresh coconut flesh only, thinly sliced into strips on a mandolin
To Serve
sprouted coriander seeds, to garnish coriander shoots
    • Serves 4
    • Medium


    • Pickled Carrots

    • Monkfish

    • Red Lentils

    • Coconut Garnish

    • To Serve



    Who doesn’t like monkfish?? Really, it’s meaty in a delicate fish form and is used all over; with olives, with bacon, the lot. But it’s big and can hold itself too. The next question; who doesn’t like curry?? So, monkfish and curry – two of my favourites together. This dish works as a starter or as the main event, also (now this is swearing or blasphemy) the lentils can work as a vegetarian option.

    *Taken from: Cracking Yolks and Pig Tales by Glynn Purnell is published by Kyle Books, priced £19.99. Photography by Laura Edwards.

    Pickled Carrots

    1. Preheat the oven to 90°C/gas mark ¼, or the lowest setting.
    2. Spread the carrot slices out on a baking tray and put in the oven overnight, or for 8 hours, until dried out. Pack the carrot slices into a sterilised airtight jar.
    3. Mix all the spices and salt with enough vegetable oil to cover the carrots, pour over the carrots in the jar and seal. Leave for a couple of weeks (longer if you can) in a cool place before serving.


    1. Sprinkle the salt over the monkfish fillets and leave for 5–6 minutes to draw out the moisture.
    2. Rinse the salt o# thoroughly under cold running water. Wrap the monkfish in a clean tea towel and leave overnight in the fridge.
    3. Spread out the spice mix on a plate and roll the monkfish fillets in the mixture. Seal each fillet in a vacuum food bag and cook for 11 minutes in a water bath at 63°C. Alternatively, wrap each fillet in heatproof Clingfilm. Heat a saucepan of water until it reaches 63°C on a cooking thermometer, add the wrapped fillets and cook for 11 minutes, keeping the temperature constant.
    4. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat until foaming. Remove the fish from the bags or clingfilm and then sear on each side for 2–3 minutes until golden brown and crisp all over.

    Red Lentils

    1. Heat a splash of vegetable oil in a saucepan and sweat the onion over a gentle heat for 4–5 minutes until softened. Stir in the curry powder, then add the lentils, stir well and cover with the stock. Simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
    2. When the lentils are cooked, stir in the chilli, coriander and lime juice and season to taste with salt. Set aside.

    Coconut Garnish

    1. Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan and add the lime leaf and salt. Simmer over a medium heat for about 15–20 minutes until reduced by half.
    2. Heat a frying pan until hot and toast the coconut strips for about 2 minutes until golden brown and fragrant.

    To Serve

    1. Spoon the lentils onto each serving plate.
    2. Carve each monkfish fillet in half and place one piece of monkfish on top of the lentils and the other piece next to them.
    3. Drizzle over a bit of the reduced coconut milk, then garnish with the toasted coconut strips, pickled carrots and coriander shoots.

    Glynn Purnell

    Affectionately known as the Yummy Brummie (coined by Olive Magazine), Glynn Purnell owns and runs Purnell’s in Birmingham. Winning dozens of awards for his inspired and adventurous cooking, Glynn has remained firmly rooted in his home city and won the Birmingham’s first Michelin star in January 2005 as Head Chef at Jessica’s. Glynn’s first food memory involved baked beans on toast and curry powder! Left in charge of his little brother and sister, he would experiment on them with new combinations and challenged their taste buds. He continues to do this with dishes like poached egg yolk, smoked haddock milk foam and cornflakes on the menu at Purnell’s, cooking which earned him top accolades on BBC’s Great British Menu. Glynn takes old fashioned flavours and brings them up to date with dishes like Royal of Goats Cheese and Pineapple on sticks. Glynn is the proud owner of three establishments in Birmingham: Purnell’s restaurant opened in 2007 and was awarded a Michelin star in 2009, Ginger’s Bar and Purnell’s Bistro. He started work in kitchens at the age of 14 and spent the following two years at the Metropole Hotel, going every day after school.  They took him on as an apprentice and six years later he won the prestigious Salon Culinaire award.   Glynn moved to Simpson’s which won a Michelin star while he was a Sous Chef and where he also won other personal awards such as the Academie de Culinaire Francaise Annual Award of Excellence in 1996. He went on to work with Claude Bosi at the 2 Michelin-starred Hibiscus in Ludlow before helping to launch Jessica’s back in Birmingham in 2003. Glynn has taken part in BBC’s The Great British Menu, winning twice and then appearing as a mentor. He has previously featured on The Great British Food Revival, Pies and Puds with Paul Hollywood and with Mary Berry and Michel Roux Jnr on Food and Drink. Glynn is a regular guest chef on Saturday Kitchen with James Martin and recently appeared on BBC 2’s Extra Slice. Glynn’s book Cracking Yolks and Pig Tales was published by Kyle Books in May 2014. In early 2016, Glynn starred as a judge on the Channel 4 series Come Dine Champion of Champions.

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