I love the bold flavours of this curry – I have used typical Indian spices in the traditional way one would and the Thai part comes with blending coriander leaves, garlic and chilli. This is easy enough to prepare and is bursting with flavour – take your time to fry the onions and cooking down the tomatoes is what gives the richness.
The type of fish for a curry – my first preference is monk fish (they call it poor man’s lobster) but warehou or groper would work well.
800g monk fish fillets, cut into 6-7cms pieces
3 tablespoons coconut oil
200g red onions, finely diced
½ cup coriander stems and leaves (tightly packed)
4-5 plump garlic cloves
1-2 red chillies (depends on your chilli tolerance)
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
500g tinned tomatoes, squashed with your fingers
200ml coconut milk
2 kefir lime leaves crushed with your hand to release the flavour
1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
½ to 1 teaspoon palm sugar or jaggery or brown sugar
Salt to taste
Lime wedges to serve
In a small saucepan, dry roast mustard, fennel and coriander until their aroma is released and you can smell. When the spices are barely warm to the touch, transfer contents to a mortar and pestle and pound to a fine blend.
Using a small spice grinder, grind the coriander leaves, red chilli and garlic. Use a teaspoon of fish sauce or water if the blades refuse to move!
In a large fry pan, heat the coconut oil and fry onions for ten minutes on low heat until they get jammy. Add the dry spice blend along with the crushed kefir lime leaf and continue to fry for a minute. Toss in the coriander leaf paste and cook a further minute. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and turn up the heat to medium. Continue for ten minutes or so until the mix looks thick. Season with salt, palm sugar or jaggery and remaining fish sauce. Taste to see that the flavours are all balanced otherwise adjust seasonings.
Mix in the coconut milk and let it come up to the boil. Stir in the fish. Cover the fry pan with a lid and cook for 3-5 minutes until fish is cooked through.
Once cooking is complete, rest for five minutes. Serve with steamed rice and lime wedges to the side.