I have been making this fish curry for about 20 years; it is so simple and delicious. I brought back the curry leaves and fresh turmeric from Singapore specially so I could treat my London chums! I served it with a mixed vegetable avial, another traditional Keralan staple. Fresh coconut is the secret here.If you are using mixed fish make sure you add them in the order of speed of cooking. So you would add the prawns at the very last minute, for example. Serve with rice. Serves 4
750g mixed fish, such as haddock, mullet, prawns or salmon (any fish will do)
a knob of fresh turmeric, finely chopped or 1 tbsp drized
juice of a lime
3 tbsp of coconut oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 large, or 2 small green birds eye chillies, seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed a piece of ginger as big as your thumb, peeled and finely grated
6 green cardamoms, bashed in the pestle and mortar
20 fresh curry leaves
400ml tin coconut milk
First lay out the fish and salt it; then scatter chopped fresh turmeric (if you have it) or dried turmeric and sprinkle with the lime juice. Set aside. Fry the onions in the coconut oil unit golden and soft, then add the garlic, ginger and chilli, followed by the crushed cardamom.
When all is nicely aromatic, pour in the coconut milk and add the curry leaves, Simmer for 10 minutes. You can leave the sauce at this stage until you are ready to add the fish. In quite often cook it well in advance so that when I am ready I simply heat and chuck in the fish for 10 minutes or until opaque.