Meen Molee (Fish curry cooked in coconut)

Meen Molee (Fish curry cooked in coconut)

Serves: 2 – 3

I’ve done a few Molee and this recipe is a wonderful, rustic and rather simple fish version.

It isn’t as complex or subtle as some I have done, though it is the simplicity factor that earns the write-up; and it tastes just awesome too.

Weekday, Saturday lunch, this is a great number.

Ingredients

3 garlic cloves
3 green chillies
5cm piece of ginger, peeled
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
6 curry leaves
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp salt
200ml coconut milk
160ml boiling water
500gm firm white fish, cut into 3cm pieces
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Basmati rice and coriander to serve

Method

  1. Place the garlic, chillies and ginger in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan to a medium-heat and fry the onion with the curry leaves for 4 minutes until softening. Stir in the garlic, chilli and ginger mixture together with the turmeric and salt. Fry for 2 minutes and then add half the coconut milk and the boiling water.
  3. Simmer for 2 minutes and add the fish; gently simmer for 5 – 6 minutes. Add half the tomato and remaining coconut milk and simmer for another 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. Garnish with the remaining tomato and serve on basmati rice with plenty of coriander.

Egg Noodles with Rich Chicken Curry Sauce (Khao Soi)

Serves: 2 – 3 generous servings

This Burmese dish might seem unusual – curry and noodles – though could there be a better combination?

It isn’t a complex dish – just putting it out there – though that is its thing.

It is super easy to prepare, looks great, tastes great and the more crazy you go with the coriander, lime juice, peanuts, snow pea sprouts, fried shallots, spring onions…

You get the point.

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 – 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste (2 is pretty darn hot)
2 tbsp curry powder
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup chicken stock
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces (we used 2 chicken breasts)
1 tsp fish sauce
1 ½ tsp sugar
250gm fresh or dried egg noodles

Garnishes

Thinly sliced shallots, raw or fried
Coriander
Roasted chopped peanuts
Lime wedges
Chopped spring onions
Dried chilies
Fried egg noodles

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and chopped shallot and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the curry paste and curry powder and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, chicken thighs, fish sauce, and sugar. Stir everything together, scraping up any curry paste that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles according to package directions, timing it so that the noodles will be cooked when the curry is done simmering.
  5. Drain and divide between two bowls. Top with curry and the garnishes of your choice.

Prawn Molee

 

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a beautiful curry.

Beautifully delicate and mild, so much so, you could be eating a contemporary French starter.

The lightness of it of course allows the prawns to sing rather than smothering them as merely a protein as so many curries do.

It is a Rick Stein number and the recipe from Kerala.

With some boiled basmati rice – and coriander – this will make your night.

Wow.

Ingredients

2 tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp ground black pepper
3 cardamom pods, lightly bruised with a rolling pin
6 cloves
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
5cm ginger, finely shredded
2 green chillis, slit lengthways, deseeded
1 tsp salt
Small handful fresh curry leaves
Small pinch turmeric
400ml coconut milk
1 ½ tsp white wine vinegar
500gm large tail-on raw prawns
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced for garnish
Boiled basmati rice to serve
Coriander leaves to serve (us, not Rick)

Method

  1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pepper, cardamoms and cloves and fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes until translucent. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chillies, salt and curry leaves and fry for 1 minute.
  2. Add the turmeric, coconut milk and vinegar. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes until reduced slightly. Add the prawns and simmer for a further 4 minutes until the prawns are cooked through. Scatter the tomatoes on top, turn off the heat, cover the pan and set aside for 4 minutes.

Fish (or Prawn) Polkiri Thiyal

Serves: 4

I had this very skillfully cooked for me last night by master curry chef Rob Ashes… and it was as fantastic as it was unique.

Recently returned from Sri Lanka and with a pretty seriously traditional looking cookbook in hand, this recipe is Sinhalese cuisine which I suspected meant ‘tasty tasty’ but instead effectively means the cuisine you eat if you are not Tamil.

I’m not sure what Rob did for the rampe (pandanus leaf) except to leave it out; according to Google, it should be available from Indian food stores or flip a coin and either leave it out or try anything from coriander to lime leaf to rose water.

Enjoy this curry which Rob adapted and I have further adapted. It is definitely a keeper!

Ingredients

500gm firm white fish, 3cm cubes (or prawns, shelled)
1 onion, chopped
Punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 green chillis, thinly sliced
Cinnamon stick
1 tsp turmeric
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp butter
3cm rampe (pandanus leaf)
1 tsp lime juice
½ c coconut milk
10 curry leaves
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
A few grinds of pepper
Salt to taste

Method

  1. Heat the butter in a large pan and saute the onions, curry leaves, cinnamon and rampe.
  2. Mix in the garlic, ginger, turmeric and salt. Add 2 tablespoons of water and then place the fish (or prawns) in the pan. Coat with the mixture, add the coconut milk and bring to the boil.
  3. Turn the heat down and cook for 5 minutes remembering that you want the sauce to be thick. Add the pepper, green chillis, tomatoes and lime. Cook for another five minutes and serve.

Skinny Chicken Laksa

Serves: 2

I avoid Laksa at lunchtime. I avoid cooking it for dinner.

It tastes awesome, though it is notoriously fatty. I’m probably kidding myself given half the dinners I make, though Laksa has always been a red light for me.

This recipe by Jill Dupleix – which I have adjusted slightly – is, at least on face value, much healthier than the 400ml can of coconut cream variety I am used to, and tastes just awesome. The meat isn’t fried, the laksa paste isn’t fried off in oil.

(That means you can eat more I assume!)

On my deathbed I’ll smash down pork crackling and proper Laksa, though until then…

Serves 4

150gm vermicelli noodles
2 c (500ml) chicken stock
2tbs laksa paste
2 chicken breasts cut into 3cm strips
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tsp caster sugar
250ml can reduced fat coconut milk (OK, original recipe was 100ml though can was 250ml)
200 gm green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 cup bean sprouts (add as much as you want)
2 cup coriander sprigs (again, add as much as you want)
2 cup mint leaves (ditto)
Fried Asian shallots to serve (half handful per serve)

Method

  1. Soak the noodled in warm water for 10 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the stock in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, whisk in the laksa paste.
  3. Add the chicken, tomato, sugar and ½ teaspoon of sea salt and simmer for 10 minutes until chicken cooked through.
  4. Add the coconut milk and beans and simmer for 5 minutes until beans cooked through.
  5. Divide the noodles among 4 bowls and soon over the chicken and the laksa broth.
  6. Top with bean sprouts and scatter with coriander, mint and dried Asian shallots.