Deconstructed Fish Curry with Pan Roasted Eggplant

This is not a curry per se, at best it is Indian flavours matched with French cookery.


350 grams brown onions, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon of finely chopped coriander stems

1 large red chilli, chopped (remove seeds if you wish)

3 centimetre piece of ginger, finely chopped

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1 generous teaspoon of tamarind puree

30ml ghee

80ml coconut cream

Salt to taste

600 grams white filleted fish (I used moki)

1 tablespoon rice flour

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Finely chopped coriander leaves and red chilli for garnish

For the pan roasted eggplant

1 large eggplant


30-40ml vegetable oil


Cut the eggplant lengthways thinly about 3mm wide. Place in colander and sprinkle salt generously on each layer. Set aside for 25-30 minutes.

Heat ghee to a high temperature. Once hot enough put it on medium heat and throw in the ginger and coriander stems. Add the onions, red chilli and the when they have fried for a couple of minutes, add the curry powder. Continue frying for a couple more minutes – by now everything would have melded well and become fragrant.

Add a cup of water and when the water is simmering, add the tamarind puree. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Now add the coconut cream and continue cooking for a further five minutes.

Remove from heat and blitz well using a food processor or a stick blender. Pass through sieve and if consistency is too thick, add some freshly boiled hot water from the kettle. Set aside.

Heat a heavy bottomed sauté pan. Using several layers of kitchen paper, wipe the eggplants completely dry. When the pan is hot, add a couple of teaspoons of oil. Gently place the eggplants in the pan and roast for a couple of minutes on each side. Do not overcrowd the pan and repeat until all eggplant is fried and set aside.

While eggplant is getting done, wipe your fish fillets dry and make four equal portions. Dust with salt and rice flour.

Once you finish cooking the eggplant, make sure that the pan is very hot. If your pan is large enough, then add all the oil to the pan. Give it 30 seconds to come up to a high heat. Then gently place the fish fillets. Cook for 2 minutes on one side and a minute on the other (depends on thickness of the fillet). If your pan is smaller, do in batches.

To serve:

Roll up the pan roasted eggplant (I tried to make cones but you can make perfect rolls – your preference). Place three on each plate. Spread a little sauce and place one fish fillet on top. Spoon some more sauce on top and garnish with fresh coriander leaves and red chilli. Serve hot with rice. You can also serve some sauce in individual sauce jugs.

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