Recipe: Coconut Fish Curry


I’ve put this down in the failure category because it’s not what I was aiming for, but this is slightly unfair of me.  It was actually lovely fish curry, but the wrong sort.  This is Kerala coconut fish curry, which has tomato in it, and I’m fairly sure now that what I had at Dakin was actually meen molee with no tomato and made intensely coconut flavoured with the use of coconut oil as well as milk and/or cream.

All that said, this was lovely, though I wish I’d included fresh chillies as the kids mostly refused to eat it anyway, so it might as well have been spicey.

Coconut Fish Curry
400g white fish, cut into large chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, chopped in the chopping attachment that came with our new stock blender. Hand chopped would be fine, but I’m terrible at properly minced onion by hand.
100g/3½oz tinned chopped tomatoes (I put the rest into some tomato pizza sauce a day or two later)
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp chilli powder
pinch garam masala
A carton coconut cream

Fry the onion and cumin seeds in the oil. When the onions are translucent, add the tomatoes, tumeric and chilli powder. It you were going to add fresh chillies, this would be the right time. Stir well and turn the heat to medium. After 5 or so minutes season and add the garam masala and then the coconut cream. Add the fish pieces and turn the heat down very low. Cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the fish is done. Be careful not to over cook or cook too quickly. If you like fresh coriander, add some on top and eat with basmati rice.

About Nuala

Geeky feminist Irish woman living in Scotland. Has two daughters and a lot of yarn. Really likes hummus.
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7 Responses to Recipe: Coconut Fish Curry

  1. Oh, I’m very tempted to have a go at that! Looks lovely.

  2. Nuala says:

    It was lovely, just not what I wanted. I should make again some time when I’m not obsessed with it being as coconutty as possible.

    ETA: Please do report back if you do make it – I love seeing how different recipes look when the cook changes.

    • Mr Woodsmoke and I had many interesting examples of that when we lived apart – I gave him some of my favourite recipes and after 2 or 3 years there was a complete evolutionary divergence in how we made them!
      White fish is on my shopping list, when we eat it depends when I actually get round to doing any shopping!

      • Mmm, it was good! I don’t think you say in the recipe where to add the coconut, or did I miss it?
        I used a couple of fillets of Tesco Value white fish, which turns out to be pollock, so it’s probably more ethical than the other stuff they sell as well as being insanely cheap (£2 for 6 fillets). And I didn’t use coconut cream in a carton, I used a sachet of creamed coconut. When I make it again (tonight!) I’ll use a bit more tomato than in the recipe and add a little water. And a bit more chilli than last time – I used chilli powder and a little bit of ‘lazy’ chopped chilli, it could take some more.
        It went down very well indeed with Mr Woodsmoke and certainly fits very well into our thrifty eating plan!

      • Nuala says:

        Ooops, good catch – you add it just before you add the fish, I’ll edit the recipe to say so.

      • oh, I didn’t say, I added a sliced red pepper too.

  3. Alison says:

    I think we are going to make this tonight. Once the fish is thawed, that is. I think this is one that will go well with blanquillo which sorta reminds me of haddock, And the curry will cook in about the same time as the rice, which is great. I’ll let you know how it works out!

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