The recipe was demonstrated to us at the wonderful Wakatobi dive resort a couple of years ago, and on this sunny spring day I was inspired to make it. In Basel there is a Thai grocers within minutes of the flat, and I can get fresh galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, and all sorts of other local goods such as laksa leaves (for tomorrow night’s laksa!), morning glory and they even do a proper Thai home-cooked take-away. I found some pea aubergines so bunged them in, but you could add some baby tomatoes for a bit of colour too if you like. Sadly the Swiss supply of uncooked prawns and squid were minimal so I just used cod this time. The smell of the curry and the taste of the sea takes me back to wonderful diving days in Indonesia.
Like all my recipes it is quick and easy! And full of immunity-boosting ingredients, such as ginger and turmeric. Just bung almost everything in the blender and add the fish. Serve with rice and a salad.
5 small shallots or 3 larger ones (I used the oriental ones, small and purple from the Thai shop)
3 garlic cloves
1 inch fresh turmeric or 1 tsp powder
1-2 lemongrass stalks, bashed
1 inch galangal, peeled and chopped
1 birds eye chilli, sliced (more if you want it hotter)
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 tbsp ground coriander
2-3 tbsp groundnut or coconut oil
1-2 kaffir lime leaves
Fish and finishing
75 g any kind of white fish, or even salmon if you must!
75 g squid (add more fish if you don’t like squid)
cup of pea aubergines (optional – I just saw them in the shop!)or baby tomatoes
1/4 cup coconut cream (I used the blocks you can buy, or you can get it in a tin too)
1/2 tbs tamarind juice or lime juice
salt, pepper and a pinch of palm sugar
Combine shallots, garlic, turmeric, galangal, chilli, ginger and coriander in a blender, with a little oil, to make a paste. Then heat up the oil, add the paste, the bashed lemon grass and the lime leaves and sauce until soft and aromatic (misread my recipe notes and put everything in the blender, lime leaves, lemon grass etc, but it didn’t really matter!).
Pour on a 250ml water, or whatever looks right to make a sauce for the seafood, add tamarind or lime juice and the coconut cream. This is the time to add pea aubergines or tomatoes. Let the aubergines cook for 5-7 minutes. You could even use larger aubergines if you wanted a one-pot meal. But cook them before you put the fish in.
Add the seafood, fish first,and simmer for 3-4 minutes, then prawns and squid as they only take a couple of minutes to cook. Blend all together and serve, garnished with fresh coriander.