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Pan-fried hake with smoky baba ganoush

Published on March 27, 2019
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Dasha Moughton, chef patron at The Vanilla Pod in Lynton, shares her recipe for pan-fried hake with smoky baba ganoush, masabacha and wild garlic dressing

The Vanilla Pod, Lynton

Serves 4

You will need

Cornish hake 4 fillets (skin-on and seasoned)

For the baba ganoush

Aubergines 2
Tahini 30ml
Lemon juice 1-2 tbsp, freshly squeezed
Garlic clove 1, peeled 

For the masabacha

Dried chickpeas 150g, soaked overnight in 2l of cold water
Bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp
Garlic clove 1, peeled
Green chilli ½, trimmed but left whole
Ground cumin a pinch
Ground cardamom a pinch
Ground turmeric a pinch
Ground coriander 2 pinches
Parsley handful, chopped
Coriander leaves handful, chopped
Lemon juice 1 tbsp

For the wild garlic dressing

Wild garlic leaves small bunch
Preserved lemon paste 1⁄3 tbsp
Lemon juice 1-2 tbsp, freshly squeezed
Ground cumin a pinch
Olive oil 75ml


  1. For the baba ganoush: prick the aubergines with a sharp knife, then chargrill. Turn them every 5-6 minutes until the skin is crisp. Don’t be afraid to burn the skin – they’ll be silky inside.
  2. Let the aubergines cool, then scoop their flesh into a blender with the rest of the baba ganoush ingredients. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Season and set aside.
  3. For the chickpea masabacha: drain and rinse the chickpeas, then put in a heavy pot. Add twice the volume of water to the chickpeas and simmer for 40 minutes, occasionally skimming any foam off the surface. 
  4. Add the bicarbonate of soda, garlic and chilli to the chickpeas and cook for another 30 minutes to an hour (they need to be soft but still hold their shape).
  5. Drain the chickpeas, reserving approximately 100ml of liquid. Take out the garlic clove and chilli and roughly chop. Place the chickpeas, chopped garlic, chilli and spices in a saucepan. Add the reserved liquid and bring to a simmer. Roughly mash the ingredients with a fork, then add the herbs and lemon juice. Taste and season.
  6. For the wild garlic dressing: blanch the garlic leaves in boiling water for 1 minute, then plunge in iced water. Squeeze out excess water and put the leaves in a blender. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients, except the oil. Blend while slowly adding the oil. Taste and season.
  7. To serve: heat a non-stick frying pan and add a drizzle of olive oil. When hot, place the hake fillets skin-side down in the pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes (depending on how thick the fillets are) until cooked and the skin is golden and crisp. Turn them over and remove the frying pan from the heat.
  8. Divide the baba ganoush between four plates and top with a couple of spoonfuls of the masabacha. Place the hake fillets on top and garnish with wild garlic dressing.

Chef’s tip: ‘I like to also add grilled wedges of onion and cherry tomatoes,’ says Dasha


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