A FAST FEAST
Curries don’t have to be laborious affairs. If you’re feeling lazy (or just short on time) this swift standby can be knocked up in minutes.
I’m feeling a bit India-obsessed at the moment as I’m about to start taking food tours up there. I’m doing everything I can to get myself into the mindset. It’s no slim feat trying to get one’s head around an 8000-yearold cuisine. What I’m ceaselessly astonished about is the diversity; the range and complexity of ingredients and dishes that make up such a bustling, assertive food culture. What is equally interesting is often how simple it can be to put punchy dishes together; we seem to have it in our heads that creating a spice mix or a curry paste is worse than laborious. Not so. I won’t lie; I can be as lazy as the next person when it comes to cooking. We all sometimes have a bit of a moment around 5pm when we wonder why the hell we invited friends around for dinner after all, when all you want to do is collapse and get takeaways. This is one of those saviour dishes for such an occasion. I usually have a bag of frozen prawns in the freezer to use in lieu of fresh fish – or you could very easily use diced chicken thigh, if you fancy.
QUICK FISH CURRY
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Serves: 4-6
700g fresh fish fillets such as snapper, tarakihi, gurnard, trevally or kingfish
2 tsp turmeric
Sea salt and black pepper Light oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 large red onion, finely sliced
4 large tomatoes, quartered
1 tin coconut milk
Chilli powder, to taste
Large handful of broccolini or broccoli Handful of coriander, to serve
Deep fried shallots, to serve
Slice the fish into chunks and combine in a bowl with the turmeric and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper.
Set a large pan over a medium-high heat, add about 3 tablespoons of oil and let it heat up. Add the cumin, coriander and cumin seeds and fry gently for about a minute, stirring, until fragrant. Take care not to let them burn. Add the onion and continue to fry for several more minutes until the onion starts to soften. If the spices are looking like they’re in danger of burning, add a couple of tablespoons of water. Add the tomatoes and fry for a minute or so before adding the coconut milk. Add enough chilli powder to taste. Let it bubble up and reduce down a little, then stir in the fish. Leave to bubble away for about five minutes until the fish is just cooked, and then fold in the broccolini.
Taste, season and serve immediately with the coriander and deep fried shallots scattered over the top, with steamed basmati or brown rice and naan on the side.
Styling and photos: Sam Mannering