One of the earliest dishes I had come up with nearly a decade back , was a fish curry in coconut milk. It is inspired by elements from Thai cuisine as well as Kerela style fish Fish Molee, both use a coconut milk base but slightly different styles . Using firm white fish fillets are essential to this dish as you don’t want the fish to be breaking up while it’s poaching in the fragrant coconut broth. The very first time I made this dish with haddock, but works quite well with Tilapia, Sea Bass, Barramundi and Catfish . The second reason why I prefer white fish for this dish is because I tend to use a full cream coconut milk (though light coconut milk works fine too) and white fish being low in fat while being high in protein compliments the fat in the coconut. An oily fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon or trout would be too greasy for this dish and you wouldn’t enjoy the flavor hence it should be avoided. The dish is ideally served with white rice or can be enjoyed with naan bread too! It can be paired it a crispy Riseling or a classic lemon Iced Tea .
Its a fairly simple recipe which is nutritious and ready under thirty minutes, hence perfect when you are craving fresh home made food but running short of time, enjoy!
- 4 white fish filets, cut into 1 inch slices (length wise)
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 tomato finely chopped
- 6 gloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- Finely sliced galangal about 10-12 slices
- 1 can full cream coconut milk
- Holy Basil to garnish
- Lemon Zest of 1 lemon
- Coconut oil
- Salt to season
- In a deep dish fan heat the coconut oil and immediately add the mustards seeds,garlic & galangal. Then add onions and a pinch of salt.
- Once the onions turn translucent, add the turmeric, chilli powder , cumin powder and coriander powder and cook for 3-4 min stirring the spices till they coat the onions well. Now add the tomato to help extract the flavor bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Once the tomatoes have turned soft and mushy, add the coconut cream, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 12-15 minutes.
- Now season the fish with salt and add it to the coconut broth. Add the lemon zest and let it cook for 5 more minutes.
- You can remove the fish and serve it in a bowl garnished with thai holy basil leaves as shown in the picture. Alternatively, regular basil is fine too.