Glynn Purnell's Mackerel & potato pakoras with minted yogurt

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 35 minutes 35 minutes

Makes: 4


2 mackerel fillets (about 200g each)
300g rock salt
50g caster sugar
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
125g gram flour
25g self-raising flour
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 tsp Purnell’s masala spice mix (see below)
1 red chilli, deseeded and diced
1 medium potato, peeled, cooked and diced
½ x 28g pack coriander, chopped
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
150ml carton natural yogurt mixed with 2 tbsp shredded mint, to serve


1. Pin-bone the mackerel fillets: remove the line of bones down the centre of the fillets with tweezers.

2. Mix together the rock salt, sugar, coriander and cumin seeds and ginger, and spread half the mixture on a tray. Place the mackerel fillets on top, then cover with the remainder of the salt mixture.

3. Leave for 5 minutes, then remove the mackerel fillets, rinse thoroughly under cold running water and dry with a clean tea towel. Cut into 1cm dice.

4. Mix the flours and lemon juice together in a bowl, then beat in enough water to thicken the mixture so that it coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt.

5. Add the masala spice mix, chilli, diced cooked potato, chopped coriander and diced mackerel.

6. Heat 2cm of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat, or use a deep fat fryer. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry for 3–4 minutes until golden. Serve the pakoras warm with the minted yogurt.

Purnell’s masala spice mix
Makes 110g
38g fenugreek seeds
20g cinnamon stick
10g fennel seeds
33g black mustard seeds
4g cloves
13g coriander seeds
28g cumin seeds

1. Put all the spices into a food processor, breaking up the cinnamon stick, and whizz for about 1 minute until nicely broken up.

2. Using a coffee grinder, grind 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time for 10 seconds, ensuring that the grinder doesn’t get too hot.

3. Pass the spice mix through a fine sieve with a ladle and store in a Kilner jar or other airtight jar.