Quick Keralan fish curry
Jars of pre-made curry sauce lead people to believe that making one from scratch is unachievable. In fact, it’s remarkably straightforward. This one comes together very quickly and makes a light and fragrant mid-week meal. Serve it with fluffy white rice, which is also wonderfully easy to prepare.
• 2tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
• 1 onion, finely diced
• 4cm root ginger, peeled and grated
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
• 2tsp chilli powder
• 1tsp ground coriander
• 1tsp turmeric
• 1 large tomato, diced
• 1tsp brown sugar
• 1tbsp white wine vinegar
• 400ml coconut milk
• Salt, to taste
• 400–500g firm white fish (cod loin, pollock, tilapia, basa)
To serve: white rice (75g per person, cooked as per pack instructions)
1. Heat the oil in a shallow casserole dish or a deep frying pan, and then cook the onions on a low-medium heat until they soften and start to turn translucent. Stir in the root ginger, garlic cloves, chilli, coriander and turmeric. Cook the spices until fragrant—roughly 1 minute.
2. Add the tomato, brown sugar and white wine vinegar and then cook off any liquid. Pour the coconut milk into the pan. Swill out the empty tin with a splash of water and add that too. Turn up the heat, and bring the sauce to a rolling simmer for 10 minutes, to allow it to thicken. Season with salt, to taste.
3. You might want to cut the fish into bite-sized chunks, or keep the fillets intact. Either way, place the fish into the sauce, and cook until opaque and flaky. Note, the size and shape will impact the cooking times. Cod loin, for example, may need cooking for 3 minutes on each side. Slimmer fillets or bitesized chunks will take less time.
4. Divide the rice between four bowls, and then top with the fish and sauce.
Tip: Like a little heat with your curry? Keep an eye out for a hot lime pickle, which sets off the dish with its perfect spiced sharpness.
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