Poached cod with date purée and caramelised onions

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

Serves 2

By Matt Tebbutt
From Saturday Kitchen


For the onions

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • ½ tbsp ground coriander
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the date purée

  • 200g/7oz dates
  • 4 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh root ginger
  • 1–2 oranges, juice only

For the poached cod

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 150ml/5fl oz white wine
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 thick cod fillets

To serve

  • 1 medjool date, chopped
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp coriander cress, to garnish


  1. To make the onions, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add the onions, garlic, cinnamon and cardamom and fry very gently, stirring occasionally, until caramelised. This will take around 45–50 minutes. Stir in the ground coriander at the end. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. To make the date purée, add all of the ingredients to a blender and food processor and blend, adding a little water to loosen, as needed.

  3. To make the poached cod, add all the ingredients, except the cod, to a pan with 1 litre/1¾ pints water. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and place the fish in the pan. Poach for 8-10 minutes or until cooked. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and pat dry with kitchen roll.

  4. Spoon the date purée onto a plate, spoon over the onions and add the cod. Garnish with the dates, pine nuts, chilli flakes and coriander cress and serve.

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