This is a fantastic dish that is easy to make and packs a huge flavor punch. The combination of the red lentils and the yellow split peas result in an interesting, multi-layered texture. Both cook up quickly and turn into a rich tasting, but not heavy, base for the fish.
1 scant cup red lentils
1/4 cup dried yellow split peas
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 (14 oz.) can low-sodium chicken broth (or homemade stock)
Fish stock concentrate (cube or paste) for 1 cup
1 cup water
1 pound skinless firm, white-fleshed fish fillet
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped coriander
3/4-1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (to taste)
Lemon wedges and chopped coriander for garnish
In a high sided, heavy-bottomed pan or dutch oven, combine the chicken stock, water, fish stock concentrate, turmeric and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, stir in the yellow peas, reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add the red lentils to the peas, cover and simmer an additional 20-25 minutes or until the peas are just tender.
Meanwhile, heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a small frying pan. When hot, add the cumin seeds. Stir briefly and when they begin to pop and turn dark brown and fragrant, stir in the ginger and cayenne. Cook another 60 seconds until the ginger is soft and begins to brown. Pour the hot spice mixture over the lentils, add the lemon juice and stir. Taste and add salt if needed.
Cut the fish into 4 or 5 large chunks and season lightly with salt. Lay the fish pieces over the lentils, cover and cook very gently for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily. Keep the heat fairly low in order to avoid scorching the lentils at the bottom of the pan. Gently stir in the 1/4 cup chopped coriander.
Serve in warm, shallow bowls and garnish with extra chopped coriander and lemon wedges.
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