Petra's Seafood Curry

, from Issue #114. March, 2024
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Petra's Seafood Curry

Petra has so many food loves, it was tricky to pull out just two elements to include in my recipe for her – and I’m going to complicate matters more by giving two options for cooking this warming seafood curry. The first involves dry frying spices which are then ground in a spice grinder, or mortar and pestle. The second is a wee bit of a cheat version, which still tastes fabulous. If you have the time and inclination for a bit of spice-grinding action the flavour will be a little deeper and more intense, however there is no shame in whipping up the very slightly simpler version!

Serves: 6


1 teaspoon coriander seeds (optional – see intro)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional – see intro)
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 large thumb ginger, roughly chopped
3 long red chillis, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons rice bran oil
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 large tomatoes, chopped
400ml tin coconut milk
2 double Makrut lime leaves

300 grams white fish, cut into large chunks
200 grams skinless salmon, cut into large chunks
200 grams raw peeled prawns
300 grams mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
good handful coriander leaves
paratha or roti
basmati rice, cooked and hot


CURRY SAUCE: If dry-frying spices, heat a small frying pan and fry the seeds together until they are just starting to smell fragrant. Cool then grind to a powder in either a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

Whizz the onion, ginger, chillis, garlic, and salt together to a purée. Heat the oil in a large pot and add the mustard seeds and cook for a few minutes until they start to pop. Add the chilli paste, reduce the heat and cook for 10 mins. Add the spices (including the dry-fried spices if using), fry for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes then add the coconut milk and lime leaves and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.

TO FINISH: Add the prawns cook for 2 minutes then add the white fish, salmon and mussels, cover and cook a further 5 minutes until the mussels are open and the fish cooked through. Serve with a garnish of coriander and Indian flat breads and rice on the side.

If you'd like to read the interview with Petra that led to the creation of this recipe, click here.