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    Sri Lankan monkfish curry

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    Sri Lankan monkfish curry

    The coconut and spices in this fragrant curry enhance the meaty monkfish. The recipe works well with other white fish, such as hake or pollock, too. 

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus marinating
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes, plus marinating

    Serves: 4


    1½ tsp ground turmeric
    2 limes, zest and juice
    600g monkfish fillets * , cut into chunks
    2 tbsp sunflower oil
    2 onions, finely sliced
    20 curry leaves (fresh or dried) 
    30g fresh root ginger, finely chopped
    2 Thai green chillies, finely sliced
    2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
    ½ x 28g pack fresh coriander, stalks and leaves separated, stalks finely chopped
    3 cardamom pods, bashed
    1 tsp black mustard seeds
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1 tsp fenugreek seeds
    300g pack Waitrose & Partners No.1 red choice tomatoes, roughly chopped
    2 tsp tamarind paste
    400ml can coconut milk
    steamed basmati rice, to serve

    * (Available from the fish service counter)


    1. Put 1 tsp turmeric, the lime zest and juice and a large pinch of salt in a bowl with the monkfish. Coat well, then put in the fridge for 1-2 hours to marinate.

    2. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat and add the onions, curry leaves, ginger, chillies and garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes until the onion has softened and slightly coloured.

    3. Add the coriander stalks, cardamom pods, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and remaining ½ tsp turmeric to the pan; fry for 1-2 minutes, until smelling fragrant. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tamarind paste and coconut milk; season, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring now and then. Add the monkfish and marinade to the sauce and simmer over a low heat for 4-8 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and opaque. Remove the cardamom pods. Divide the steamed basmati rice between bowls, then top with the curry and scatter over the coriander leaves. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, March 2020 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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