Dan Toombs’ Malabar Fish Curry
I wasn’t sure about this curry at first glance.
Though anyone doubting Dan Toombs when it comes to Indian is brave. And so on I went.
What threw me was that the ingredients are boiled in water. No oil except for the fried shallots which are a garnish.
Conclusion. Brilliant. Aromatic and a delicious sauce.
I simmered the coconut mixture for longer though not intentionally. Perhaps it added to it, perhaps not.
Check your salt though get this right and you have a wonderful, entirely unique fish curry on your hands. Absolutely top notch.
1 1/2 c fresh or frozen coconut*
1/2 ground turmeric
1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 green chilli, finely chopped
3 kokum peels or 2 tsp tamarind concentrate
500gm cod or other meaty fish like halibut or ling, cut into medium chunks
1 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
3 shallots, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
- Blend the coconut and turmeric into a fine paste or powder and set aside. **
- Bring 500ml of water to the boil in a pot (preferably a clay pot). Add the coconut mixture, chilli powder, ginger, green chilli and korum (or tamarind concentrate) and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the fish and simmer with the pan covered for a further 7 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan over a medium-high heat, When visibly hot, add the mustard seeds and when they begin to pop (30 seconds), reduce the heat to medium and stir in the curry leaves and shallots and fry until the shallots are soft and slightly browned.
- Pour over the curry; leave as a garnish and/or stir the oil into the curry. Check for season and salt as needed.
* Easily sourced in the freezer of an Indian grocer.
** I didn’t process and left the grated coconut combined with the turmeric. We loved the texture though the smoothness of the curry processed would be an equally lovely experience.