This is a very easy and quick Indian style curry using fresh turmeric and curry leaves from stallholder Jason. It has great flavour achieved without too many ingredients. This is a great dish for firm dense fish. Here I used ling and at other times it’s been hapuku, monkfish or salmon. I think the sauce would also work really well with chicken. You’ll need to decide how spicy you want it – the first time I made it I used one chilli minus seeds and it was very very mild. The next time I added 2 chillis including seeds and it was definitely on the more spicy side of medium.
Ingredients (for 4)
150-200g fish per person, cut into large cubes
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
5 cms piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
5 cms piece fresh turmeric, finely grated
2 tsps garam masala
1-2 chillis, finely chopped
3-4 fresh curry leaves
4-5 cardamom pods, bashed to split them
1 tin crushed tomatoes
1 tin coconut cream (regular or light)
5 cms piece tamarind pulp soaked in ¼ cup hot water, broken up and pushed through a sieve (discard the seeds)
½ -¾ cup plain unsweetened yoghurt
½ cup desiccated coconut, toasted till brown in a hot non-stick pan (optional)
Salt and pepper
Finely chopped coriander to garnish
Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and blend into a paste. Heat a little oil in a pot and add the paste. Add the turmeric and chilli. Cook on a low heat for about 5-8 minutes. Add the garam masala, stir for a minute then add the tomatoes, cardamom pods, curry leaves, salt and pepper.
Cook for 2-3 minutes then add the coconut cream and tamarind juices. Stir and gently simmer for at least 30 minutes. After that time add the desiccated coconut and yoghurt. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Just before you ready to serve add the fish. It’ll take 1-2 minutes to cook depending on how thick the pieces are.
Serve on basmati rice and garnish with coriander.