Spicy Fish with Curry Leaves

3:10 pm on 20 March 2015


Fish curry:

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp grated peeled ginger
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 x 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt
  • 750g skinned and boned meaty white fish fillets

Spice topping:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 stems curry leaves
  • 2 tiny dried bird's eye chillies, crushed ½ tsp cumin seeds ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped


Put onion in a large frying pan with vegetable oil and set pan over gentle heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and just turning pale gold in colour. Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, water and ½ a teaspoon of salt and bring to a gentle bubble. Cook gently for 15 minutes, until pulpy.

Run your hands along fish fillets while rinsing under running water, checking for bones and scales, then pat dry with paper towels. Cut fillets into large chunks. Tuck them into the tomato sauce, making sure they are covered in sauce. Cook for several minutes, until fish is just cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the spice topping. Heat vegetable oil in a small frying pan and add curry leaves, chillies, cumin and mustard seeds and sizzle for 30 seconds, then stir in garlic. Sizzle for 1 more minute, then pour it over curry. Serve immediately.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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