Kerala style Fish curry

Mallika Basu - Kerala style Fish curry

There is little I enjoy more than shaking dinner party guests out of their comfort zone, laying on a meal of popular favourites, with something that pushes their boundaries a little. This Kerala style Fish Curry does just that with a heady combination of aromatic curry leaves, sharp chilli and tangy tamarind, it's one of those dishes that you end up licking off an empty plate with your finger. The last time I served this as part of a dinner menu, the guest literally couldn't speak after the meal. Fancy a Food Coma? Feast on this.


Peel and roughly chop the onions. Soak the fenugreek leaves in a tablespoon of hot water. In a large wok or saucepan, bring the oil to heat on high. When it sizzles around a hot spoon, toss in the cinnamon stick, chopped onions and ginger garlic paste and sauté for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and golden.

Next, add the curry leaves, turmeric and chilli and sauté for another five minutes.

Then stir in the coconut milk, tamarind paste and fenugreek leaves (along with the water they are soaking in) and cook for about 10 minutes on a medium to low heat.

Meanwhile, cut the monkfish into large bite-sized cubes. When the time is up on the curry, drop the pieces in, cover and simmer for a couple of minutes until the fish turns opaque white and oil floats to the surface of the curry. Serve Kerala style Fish Curry immediately with steaming hot basmati rice.

You can make the sauce well in advance, freeze it for a month or store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to day days, dropping the monkfish in just before you serve it.

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