Nadiya Hussain’s cod and clementine recipe | Life and style (2024)

A taste of home

This cod recipe is straight from Nadiya Hussain’s gran’s larder, using the peel of a clementine to create a light and zesty dish

Nadiya Hussain

Fri 4 Nov 2016 12.30 GMT

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Cod and clementine is one of the things my grandmother cooked for my mum when she was a child. Never one for waste, she’d keep the peel whenever she had a clementine, and this dish puts it to work. Mum learned to cook it from my gran and now I cook it for my children. They say it’s their favourite.

My grandmother spent a lot of time with us when we were growing up. She did the school runs and fed us when my mum was busy. To be with her was to really be at home. We lived in a three-bed terrace house in Luton, which backed on to train tracks. It was very noisy. We knew all the trains that passed and what time to expect them.

I was one of six children, and lots of extended family lived nearby, so people were always popping in. They’d turn up and stay for dinner. That meant always cooking large quantities of everything. You never knew who was going to come by and you didn’t want to be that person who didn’t have enough food. Things have changed now – I don’t have that many people coming unannounced for dinner. But I can promise tea and cake... and people do just turn up and ask for it!

Nowadays I live in a modern grey house, where everything has its place. I like tidy, clean lines, and I don’t like clutter or mess; I learned early on that the way to achieve that is to not have anything. Growing up, our home was old-fashioned and cluttered: lots of prints and colours and mismatched linen. My dad’s an amazing photographer, and he loves a Sunday market. So the house was full of all the stuff he’d buy, and frame. He’d know if a piece went missing. He has a photographic memory when it comes to his tat. We’d spend every weekend dusting it all.

We always had the cosiest carpets – I can still feel it between my toes. My older sister had reflux as a baby, so my father spent the first two years of her life changing all the carpets every six months. And when that was over, he treated the house to plush carpets.

With the six of us to look after, my mum had virtually no time to herself – so she kind of just went with the flow. She has always been a fabulous cook with magic hands, and makes everything from scratch. No microwaves, no fish fingers. She and my grandmother would work in the kitchen together and we could watch, but we weren’t allowed to help. Cod and clementine is one of the dishes I remember them doing. Eating it is one of my earliest memories of being astonished by flavour.

My mum would normally cook this dish with whole pieces of fish. None of this “easy fish”, as my dad likes to call it – it was always cooked with all the bones still in to boost the flavour. We would spend a long time picking it apart to eat, putting the bones a safe distance away from our plates. Traditionally we’d eat it with our hands (it’s near impossible with cutlery). Although it was delicious, these days there isn’t always time to sit at our plates for an hour, and I am a big fan of filleted fish for convenience’s sake. Granted, it imparts less flavour to this dish – but the clementine peel well and truly makes up for that.

My own kids are absolutely allowed to help me cook it. They of course have the added bonus of knowing how to bake. That wasn’t really a concept when I was a kid – I learned it at school in home economics, then started properly when I was home with my children. They love helping me.

Cod and clementine

Serves 2
5 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ onion, diced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp salt
200ml water
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 clementines, peel of both, juice of one
300g cod fillets
A handful of coriander, finely chopped
Basmati rice, to serve

1 Heat the oil in a medium pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the crushed garlic and diced onion. Turn the heat down and cook gently until the onions are soft.

2 Add the tomato puree, salt and water. Cook for 5 minutes over a low heat. Then add the turmeric, paprika and cumin, and cook for another 5 minutes. Keep adding small amounts of water if it starts to catch on the bottom.

3 Slice the clementine peel and add this to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, until the peel is soft and almost falling apart, then mash it.

4 Add the fish, cover and cook for 10 minutes over a low heat.

5 Squeeze in the clementine juice. Once the fish is cooked, take the pan off the heat and sprinkle over the chopped coriander. Serve with hot basmati rice.

  • Nadiya Hussain is the winner of last year’s Great British Bake-Off. Nadiya will be cooking live at the BBC Good Food Show London – Olympia 11-13 November and Birmingham – NEC 24-27 November. Tickets on sale now. Nadiya’s Kitchen by Nadiya Hussain is out now (Penguin, £20)


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Nadiya Hussain’s cod and clementine recipe | Life and style (2024)


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