I had some fish and some coconut milk leftover in the fridge, and I am going through a curry phase, so the obvious thing to make was a fish curry. For inspiration I looked on the BBC food website and chose this recipe from the many recipes that were available. The spice combination seemed nice to me and I had the ingredients already on hand or could buy them at the supermarket.
The trick of leaving the chillies whole is a very nice one. I am not very heat proof, so adding chilli in a dish is easily too much. When I add chopped chilli it is either too hot, or don’t have the nice taste of chilli in the dish. By leaving the chillies whole, you do get the taste but much less heat (although the dish is still quite spicy).
We added snap peas, because they work very well in curries like these, and we could get hold of them cheap. But you can use other vegetables as well, like courgette and paprika, or serve a side salad, or a nice fruity dessert.
The dish was quite mediocre. It was tasty, I enjoyed eating it, but I probably will not make it again. So the hunt for a good green curry recipe goes on…
Green coconut fish curry (serves 4)
From BBC Food (Anjum Anand-Indian Food Made Easy)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 large piece cinnamon stick
1 small onion, finely chopped
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
2 large garlic cloves
1 tsp ground coriander
300 ml coconut milk
2-4 green chillies, left whole
salt, to taste
100 ml water
10 curry leaves
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp garam masala
500g salmon or firm white fish fillets, cut into large pieces (I used panga)
2-3 tsp lemon juice
50g fresh coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
Optional: 200 gram snow or snap peas
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the mustard seeds, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick and stir fry for 20 seconds (be careful, the seeds might pop). Add half of the chopped onion and fry for 4-5 minutes until soft.
Meanwhile, place the remaining onion, the ginger, garlic, ground coriander and 100ml of the coconut milk into a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth purée (I used a pestal and mortar, great way to relieve stress).
Add this mixture to pan along with the whole green chillies and salt, to taste. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 12-15 minutes, giving the pot an occasional stir.
Add the remaining coconut milk, the water, the currry leaves, black pepper and garam masala and the fish and leave to cook undisturbed for about 3-5 minutes, until the fish is opaque and cooked through. At the last minute add in the peas, to cook slightly/warm them up. They only need very short cooking!
To serve, stir in the lemon juice and coriander. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, then pour into bowls and serve with rice.