Curried Kaapse Krokodil with Braaied Rotis
Snoek is one of South Africa’s most sustainable fish, and this is our sweet and spicy twist on Cape Town’s fish-braai classic.
- Serves: 6 |
- Difficulty: moderate
- Prep Time : 45 mins |
- Cook Time : 15 mins
splash of oil for frying
3 Tbsp (45 ml) smooth apricot jam
3 Tbsp (45 ml) Mrs Balls apricot chutney
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp (30 ml) of your favourite curry masala
100 g butter
1 medium snoek, cleaned and vlekked
1 large onion, sliced into thin rounds
1 flip-grid large enough to braai your snoek
6 rotis (get the real deal from your local Muslim or Indian takeaway)
sliced spring onion to garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Make the marinade first. Using a small saucepan, fry up the onions until golden. Add the garlic, fry for a minute then add the masala and fry for another minute to cook the spices. Throw in the jam, chutney and butter and stir to combine. When everything is all melted and lekker you can take it off the heat.
Place the snoek into the flip-grid (skin down), season with cracked salt and pepper, and baste the flesh generously with marinade. If the snoek is too big for the flip-grid, then do it in halves, but try keep it whole if you can, otherwise the bones are a nightmare. Lay the onion rings neatly over the marinated snoek, then baste again before closing up the grid. Make sure that the fish is snug and secure, but avoid squashing it. The onions create a barrier to stop the snoek sticking to the grid, and they taste amazing, so don’t be shy.
Place the snoek flesh side down over hot coals, and leave it to cook until the marinade and onions have caramelised (about 5 minutes). When you’re happy with the colour, flip it over and cook skin side down for about 3 minutes more. Only flip once or you will loose all the goodness back into the fire. When the belly starts to bubble it’s done.
Let the fish cool for a minute, and then get a mate to start to pull the onions off and the meat from the bones. While he does that, you can get the rotis on the braai. The reason we say you need real-deal rotis from your local Muslim or Indian takeaway, is that they have a high fat content. When you braai them slowly they go all crispy and delicious. So to prepare, cut the rotis up (we cut ours into circles, but you could also do wedges), place over medium coals and slowly braai until crispy and toasty.
Remove from the braai and pile them together with the snoek and the onions. Drizzle with leftover marinade, garnish with spring onion and go for it.
Foodie Fact: Down in the Cape, this vigorous form of gutting and butterflying is called “vlekking”.
Vlekking: The belly cavity of the snoek is slit open from head to tail, gutted and cleaned and the spine bone is removed. The head and tail remain intact.