In terms of double acts, it’s right up there with Morecambe and Wise or Ant and Dec for our younger readers.

In terms of what Britain has given the world, it stands proudly alongside Shakespeare and cricket.

We refer, of course, to Fish and Chips which, quite rightly, now has its own national day.

The delectable duo first joined forces in the 1860s and is now, by some margin, the most popular takeaway food in Britain, still served in over 10,000 shops.  

Fish has been part of our diet ever since we had a diet and potatoes arrived in Europe during the 16th century.

Fish served in batter emerged in the early 1800s and became so popular it is referenced in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, whilst the first serving of chips has been dated some 50 years later. It wasn’t long afterwards  that the marriage made in heaven was consumed – with both London and Lancashire laying claims to first serving fish and chips as a takeaway in the 1860s.

The advent of steam powered fishing trawlers and the hardiness of potatoes and ease with which they could be grown meant supplies were cheap and the number of UK chippies rapidly expanded, peaking at 35,000 in the 1930s.

Fish and chips were regarded by Government as a vital part of the British diet and, as one of the few foods not rationed, sustained the nation through the two world wars – Winston Churchill referring to them as our “good companions”.

Today’s fish and chips remain remarkably similar to those sold for the past 150 years throughout the towns, cities and seasides of Britain – though they are unlikely to come wrapped in newspaper anymore.

Though traditionalists may prefer them fried in beef dripping or lard, plant based oils now predominate and allow pescatarians to join the feast and veggies to at least enjoy a bag of chips.

The fish batter can also be a matter of taste and it’s here that chefs can get creative.

Usually, chip shop batter is made from plain flour and water with the addition of a little baking soda and vinegar resulting in bubbles to create a lighter, crispier batter. Beer based batter can produce subtle changes to the taste and colour, depending whether bitter, lager or stout is used and as our recipe shows, adding spices can also produce mouth-watering results.

Curried Fish and Chips


Cod Batter:

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 350ml Beer
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 15g Yeast

Curry Sauce:

  • 1 tin Coconut Milk
  • 3 tbsp Curry Powder
  • 150g Onion
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree

Mushy Peas:

  • 500g Frozen Peas
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Mint
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Tartar Sauce:

  • 250g Mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp Gherkins
  • 3 tbsp Capers
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Tarragon
  • 1 tsp Fat Leaf Parsley


1 kg King Edward Potatoes

Curried Cod Batter:

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 350ml Beer
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 15g Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion Seeds

Chips Recipe:

First, start to peel, cut and par boil the potatoes. Parboil them for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the chips start to frost slightly. Cool these down in the fridge without any cover over, the idea is to make the chips as dry as possible to get the desired crunch! Once cooled, par fry at 150 degrees for 8 minutes. Then, turn the heat of the fryer up to 190 and cook until the chips are golden brown and crispy.

Batter Recipe:

For the batter, weigh everything unto a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Place in a warm environment to activate the yeast. After 20 minutes, move the mixture into the fridge, ready to be used later. For the curried batter, repeat this process but add the additional spices.

Curried Mayonnaise:

For the mayonnaise, combined all the ingredients into a bowl and season with salt and lemon to taste.

Mushy Peas:

Firstly, begin the cook the peas in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Once cooked, add the mixture into a colander, making sure to retain some of the water. Then, add the peas into a food processer, along with the fresh mint and butter. Blitz and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Curry Sauce:

Begin by frying the onions in rapeseed oil. Once softened, add all of the spices and tomato purée. Cook out for 3-4 minutes then add the coconut milk. Simmer for 10-15 minutes then blend in a blender. Season to taste with salt, soya sauce and pepper.

Tartar Sauce Recipe:

Weigh the mayonnaise in a bowl and put a side. Finely chop the capers, gherkins and herbs, then add to the mayonnaise. Mix together then check for seasoning using salt. Pepper and Lemon Juice.

Frying the Cod:

To fry the fish, salt the cod and set aside in a fridge for 30-40 minutes. This will extract any unwanted water in the cod. Once this is done, rinse off the salt and pat dry. Season the fish and lightly coat in plain flour. Set the fryer to 180 degrees, dredge the cod in batter and carefully place in the oil. Cook for 4 minutes each side or until golden brown. Place on a wire rack or kitchen paper and eat straight way.

It’s important to serve the fish as quickly as possible to keep the batter crispy. Keep the curry sauce in a saucepan simmering along with the mushy peas. Whilst they are simmering, fry your chips and place in a paper lined bowl with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Keep them somewhere warm whilst you drop your battered fish in the fryer, pulling the fish away from you to avoid the oil from splashing. Once cooked, place on paper to get rid of the unwanted oil, and serve immediately.

About Neil Shaefer
Marketing & Communications Executive of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.