Turmeric likes my subtropical climate, which is very lucky because fresh turmeric is one of my all-time favourite spices and hugely healthy. I have a patch of it that takes absolutely no attention. All I do with it is dig up a rhizome when I want it for curries or stir fries or to add a touch of spiciness to just about anything. .
This time of year, I also dry a bit for recipes like this one. It’s very easy – just peel and slice very thin, leave in the sun for a few hours on a hot day, then blend to a powder.
Whiting are still listed as sustainable, and there are very few ways to improve on just frying fresh whiting fillets. But this turmeric dusting adds a crispy, mildly spicy coating that is very addictive.
You want about one part in ten turmeric powder to plain flour for dusting for this recipe. So for 500 grams of whiting fillets, I use one teaspoon of turmeric powder and ten teaspoons (or three good dessertspoons) of flour. Plus a pinch of salt. An easy way to do it is to put the turmeric, flour and salt in a container with a lid and shake together, then add the whiting fillets and shake again to coat.
Then just heat a heavy frypan with a little olive oil till it is very hot but not smoking. Fry the dusted fish quickly, just a minute or so each side, till they are golden. Serve with a crisp green salad, or lightly steamed beans or broccolini or snow peas, and a wedge of lemon. Or just put them on a platter to share, and eat them in your fingers on the verandah of a summer evening.