Kerulan Fish Curry prompts a return to the blog

Quick, quick, quick! Least I forget, let’s get this recipe down.

Since we last spoke: I finally have a new kitchen, work has gone mad and I have been watching Rick Stein’s wonderful odyssey around India…..

The curries have naturally looked mouth-wateringly good but the one that really caught my eye was the very last one he prepared. Having stayed for weeks in the Kerala region of India, the fish curry Rick produced as a farewell supper finally drove me to action.


I know this doesn’t exactly look spectacular, but believe me it’s one of the most delicious fish curries I have tried and after having a quick surf around on the net which yields some suggestions but only of the ‘lets get out a tin of coconut milk’ variety which as far as I can tell is not the way forward.

So you will need (serves 2-3): 1 Banana Shallot (or similar (chopped)), 1 inch of fresh Ginger (finely chopped), 1 tsp Mustard Seeds, 2 tbsp Groundnut Oil, 1 Green Chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped, a couple of Kaffir Lime or Curry Leaves, 1 tsp of ground Cumin, 1 tsp Turmeric, 1 generous tbsp Tamarind Paste, 1 tin chopped Tomatoes, 4 heaped tbsp desiccated Coconut soaked for 10 minutes in boiling water, 250g firm White Fish such as Vietnamese River Cobbler, juice of half a Lime, tbsp each of fresh mint and coriander, a few Cherry Tomatoes halved, half a Yellow Pepper finely sliced.

Quite a list if ingredients and I think there should be fenugreek instead of mustard seeds, but this is an anglicised version of this dish, however tomato gravy based which seems to be the key.

So heat the oil in a large heavy based frying pan or wok, and add the mustard seeds and lime/curry leaves, stir round until the mustard seeds start to pop and then add the onion, ginger, chilli and cumin and stir around gently until the onion is transparent and all the ingredients appear well blended. Then add the tomatoes, turmeric, tamarind paste and coconut and the soaking liquor and enough hot water to give a decent looking sauce (i.e. not dry and catching). Also add the pepper and cherry tomatoes and allow to simmer gently whilst you put some rice on….

After 5 minutes or so add the fish, roughly cut into strips, and the coriander and mint and stir frequently adding more water if necessary for 5 minutes or so and the fish is cooked through, add the lime juice, stir through and serve immediately on rice, or with naan. Delicious.

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