This delicate flavoursome fish curry, possibly of Portuguese-Indian origin, is quick and easy to prepare and very well received whenever I serve it. Make sure you use fresh curry leaves as their flavour and aroma is irreplaceable.
The quick hit of hot oil combined with the curry leaves, mustard seeds and diced tomato makes for a magic final flourish.
I added a few prawns at the same time as adding the fish. For a more adventurous moilee, use 8 green lip mussels (in their half shell), 8 large green tiger prawns (tails intact and cleaned(, 8 mud crabs claws (cracked), 1 squid (cut decoratively) and 4 barbounia (red mullet) fillets.
Serve with steamed rice.
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 15-20 minutes
- Yield : 4
- thick firm white-fleshed fish, such as ling, snapper, Red Emperor - 750g, skin removed and cut in large cubes
- onion - 1 small, finely sliced
- medium green chillies - 4, julienned
- fresh ginger - 2cm knob, peeled and julienned
- garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
- fresh tomato puree - 2 tablespoons
- fresh curry leaves - 20-24
- lemon juice - 2 teaspoon
- ground turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon
- salt - to taste
- fish stock - 300ml
- cornflour (or rice flour) - 1/4 teaspoon
- coconut milk - 1 cup (250ml)
- Final Flourish
- vegetable oil or coconut oil - 2 tablespoons
- black mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- medium ripe tomato - 1, diced
- fresh coriander leaves
- green onions (shallots) - julienned
Spread the onions, ginger, chillies and garlic over the bottom of a large frying pan. Add the tomato puree, half the curry leaves, the lemon juice, turmeric, salt, fish stock and cornflour. Mix to combine.
Bring to the boil over medium heat, turn down the heat and add the fish (and a few prawns, if liked). Stir gently to combine. Simmer until the fish turns opaque, 10-15 minutes (and until prawns have changed colour and are cooked). Add the coconut milk and bring back to boiling point. Immediately turn heat down to low.
For the Final Flourish: heat the oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds and once they begin to pop, add the remaining curry leaves and diced tomato (stand back because it will crackle!). Pour over the fish.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and julienned green shallots. Excellent with steamed rice.
Tip: remove seeds from chillies if you don't like your curry hot.