A Favourite Recipe (By popular request). Enjoy!

Monkfish with Creamy Vanilla and Cardamom Sauce

This delicately flavoured fish dish, scented with cardamom and vanilla, and bathed in a luxurious creamy sauce, proves that Indian food doesn’t have to be spicy. Vanilla works surprisingly well in savoury recipes.

Preparation time:
20 minutes
Cooking time:
30 minutes
Total time:
50 minutes 50 minutes


  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1.4kg Waitrose Fresh Cornish Monkfish Fillets (from the fish service counter)
  • 500ml Cooks’ Ingredients Vegetable Stock
  • 500ml dry white wine
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 142ml Waitrose Double Cream


  1. Remove the black seeds from inside the cardamom pods and lightly crush them in a pestle and mortar. Discard the pods.
  2. In a large pan, warm the oil over a low heat. Add the garlic and crushed seeds. Gently cook for about 5 minutes or until the garlic is just beginning to soften.
  3. Using a knife, remove and discard any dark skin from the monkfish. Pour the stock and wine into the saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the fish, ensuring it is covered by the liquid, return to the boil then immediately remove from the heat, cover and allow to stand for 10 minutes or until the fish is just opaque but cooked through to the centre. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the monkfish to a board and cut into 2-3cm slices. Cover and keep warm.
  4. Strain the liquid through a sieve and return it to the pan. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla pod in half lengthways. Scrape out the seeds with the tip of the knife and add them, with the pod, to the pan. Stir in the cream.
  5. Bring the liquid to a vigorous boil over a high heat. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until reduced by three-quarters and thickened. Season to taste. Reduce the heat, return the fish to the pan and heat through gently. Place on a serving platter and drizzle with the sauce.

About sworrall

Writer with @Natgeo; author of The Poet and The Murderer; and the forthcoming Starcrossed: A Romeo And Juliet Story in Hitler's Paris (2022)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.