Friday, June 19, 2009

Indonesian Spicy Fish Curry

Indonesian Spicy Fish Curry, originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg.

Another fishy weekend!

Friday I was again hoiking off to Cambridge market to see what the fishmonger had to offer. I found, as usual, several things utterly irresistible - for one thing, the mackerel was so fresh it was practically flipping around in the ice. I had a couple of those. Then, Lo!, he had cuttlefish! I love cuttlefish - for me, these are the 'rich cousins' of squid. They are buttery and rich-tasting and have a flavour that is more refined that that of squid. They lend themselves well to stews, too. So I got a few of the smaller ones on the stall. Finally, the red snapper looked mighty fine, so I got a big, chunky fillet for the two of us to share.

Friday night we had the Indonesian curry. I trawled the web for quite a while before I found a recipe that I thought would rival our favourite mackerel recipe - Mackerel with polenta and tomato sauce. I chose well, too, because this dish was beautiful!

Indonesian Spicy Fish Curry

Fish is given a hot, piquant twist in this flavourful dish.


1 kg (2 1/4 lb) fresh mackerel fillets, skinned
30 ml (2 tbsp) tamarind pulp, soaked in 200 ml (7 fl oz) scant 1 cup water
1 onion
1 cm (1/2 in) fresh galangal, peeled
2 garlic cloves
1 - 2 fresh red chillies, seeded, or 5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
5 ml (1 tsp) ground coriander
5 ml (1 tsp) ground turmeric
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground fennel seeds
15 ml (1 tbsp) dark brown sugar
90 - 105 ml (6 - 7 tbsp) oil
200 ml (7 fl oz) scant 1 cup coconut cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh chilli shreds, to garnish


1. Rinse the fish fillets in cold water and dry them well on kitchen paper. Put into a shallow dish and sprinkle with a little salt. Strain the tamarind and pour the juice over the fish fillets. Leave for 30 minutes.

2. Quarter the onion, peel and slice the galangal and peel the garlic. Grind the onion, galangal, garlic and chillies or chilli powder to a paste in a food processor or with a pestle and mortar. Add the ground coriander, turmeric, fennel seeds and sugar.

3. Heat half of the oil in a frying pan. Drain the fish fillets and fry for 5 minutes, or until cooked. Set aside.

4. Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining oil. Fry the spice paste, stirring all the time, until it gives off a spicy aroma. Do not let it brown. Add the coconut cream and simmer gently for a few minutes. Add the fish fillets and gently heat through.

5. Taste for seasoning and serve scattered with shredded chilli.

We served this with Thai Coconut Rice:

Coconut Rice

The rice is prepared with 50% water and 50% coconut milk and cooked as normal. This rice is the perfect accompaniment for the spicy curry.

Try this - knock your own socks off!

No comments: