This recipe comes from Jamie Oliver; his Keralan Fish Curry was aired in the UK in late December last year on Jamie’s Festive Feast as an ideal NYE dinner party show stopper and it got me really excited to try it out on a smaller scale. Its bright colours and fresh ingredients changed my previous opinion on curries with fish, something that even Rick Stein couldn’t sell to me! And with fresh fish ample in the Bahamas, why not take advantage of spicing things up a bit?
Having mentioned somewhere before that I’ve jumped around with being vegetarian for the past 4 years, it’s something I’m always quite open about. I went to university, hated choosing and cooking meat and gradually cut it out until I was entirely vegetarian. It allowed me to experiment with food and ignited my love for cooking. But, I’m from the Bahamas, a place reliant on fish and chicken – so, it was only realistic for me to start eating both of those proteins again with fresh veg and herbs surprisingly hard things to come by. So, before I came home to Green Turtle Cay a few weeks ago, I made sure to raid the weekly market in Hay-on-Wye and brought with me all the dried herbs and spices needed to create my own twist on Jamie’s Traybaked Keralan Fish Curry.
This is a recipe that I strongly urge anyone to try whether from the UK, its origin, or the Bahamas, where I’ve adapted it to suit. I always feel uncomfortable adapting someone else’s recipe and claiming it as my own so please remember the King of Quick and Tasty (see Jamie’s version here) is entirely responsible for the flavor combos of this curry. Another bonus, it’s all cooked and baked in the same tray!
Here are the ingredients I used to serve 4:
1 x medium, yellow onion peeled and sliced thinly
1 – 2 gloves of garlic finely chopped
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 handful of fresh coriander (if available), leaves picked
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
1 yellow courgette / zucchini cut into strips
oil (I used coconut oil but didn’t particularly like it in this instance, Jamie recommended sunflower oil)
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 handful of dried curry leaves (if you have fresh ones, even better)
4 filets of white, flaky fish (deboned)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a few cherry tomatoes, halved
a handful of defrosted, raw shrimp / prawns (optional)
1 x 400 g tins light coconut milk
Preheat your oven to 160ºC/325ºF/gas 3. Get all of your vegetables and spices ready to go. Place your largest roasting tray or oven-proof skillet on the stove over a medium heat. Add your chosen oil to the pan and once it’s heated, add all of your spices, seeds and your curry leaves. Fry for 2 minutes (you’ll really start to smell it but don’t let them burn). Add your onion, peppers, zucchini, garlic and coriander stalks / flakes. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until soft and golden, stirring occasionally.
Place your fish ontop of the vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Turn the fish fillets over after a minute or so still on the heat and then remove from the stove and place the tray in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until the fillets are almost cooked through. While you wait, you can cut your tomatoes and prepare your prawns (if using) by carefully running a sharp knife down the back of each one and flattening them out.
Bring the tray out of the oven and stir the tomatoes, prawns, coconut milk and the zest and juice from the lemon and gently bring to a simmer on the hob over a medium to low heat (until the prawns are cooked through). Then, use a large spoon to break the filets into big chunks and allowing them to soak in the curry sauce. Season the sauce to taste with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime juice, sprinkle with the fresh coriander leaves and serve to share! You can also make this sauce to serve over already prepared fish leftovers and/or as a completely veggie curry – an idea I really like. Thanks to Jamie Oliver for sharing this recipe and to you, the reader. I took this dish to a ‘fish-off’ party and it went down so well, I think they were in shock that I’d made something that good. So, I hope you enjoy as much as we all did and that it increases your cooking credibility!
Next to try out is a vegetarian butternut and spinach pie from Pastry Affair.