Coconut and Tamarind Fish Curry

, from Issue #61. July, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Coconut and Tamarind Fish Curry

When cooking this easy, fragrant fish curry your kitchen will be filled with the wonderful aromas of garlic, ginger and curry leaves.

Serves: 4–6


800 grams firm white fish (I used monkfish)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
3 stems curry leaves
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated
fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
pinch chilli flakes
½ teaspoon each ground turmeric, cumin and coriander
⅓ cup tamarind concentrate
1 cup coconut cream
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped or 16 cherry tomatoes
sea salt
coriander and extra coconut cream to garnish

Cucumber and Roasted Peanut Salad
1 medium telegraph cucumber
1 long green or red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon caster sugar

Crispy Cumin Sauted Potatoes
800 grams Agria potatoes, peeled 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
pinch chilli flakes

sea salt

Roasted Broccolini
300 grams broccolini or 1 head broccoli 
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground garam masala 
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon each ground turmeric and chilli powder
sea salt


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and immediately cover. When they stop popping, add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli with a good pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Stir in all of the spices and the tamarind concentrate and cook for 1 minute. 

Cut the fish into largish pieces and add to the pan, turning to coat well in the spice mixture.

Pour over the coconut cream but don’t stir, just shake the pan to settle everything. 

Dot over the tomatoes then cover and cook gently until the fish is just cooked.

To serve: Drizzle over extra coconut cream and top with the coriander. 

Cucumber and Roasted Peanut Salad: Halve the cucumber and scrape out the seeds. Cut into small dice and place in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine. 

Crispy Cumin Sauted Potatoes: Cut the potatoes into large bite-sized pieces and cook in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well and set aside until ready to use.  

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the mustard and cumin seeds, cover immediately and cook until they stop popping.

Add the turmeric and chilli, then the potatoes. Season with salt and turn to coat in the spiced oil. Cook, turning occasionally, until the potatoes are golden and crispy.

Roasted Broccolini: Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.

Cut any large stalks of broccolini in half lengthways. If using broccoli, cut into large bite-sized florets through the stalk.

Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the broccolini and turn well to coat in the spice mix. Transfer to a lined baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes then turn over and cook until golden on the tips and just tender.