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Chetna Makan’s spring fish curry with cumin coriander rice
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This is my go-to curry when I’m craving fish at this time of year. It’s fresh, creamy and fragrant – comforting but light at the same time. I like to use cod and prawns as they have a natural sweetness but also act as little sponges, absorbing all the aromatic spices.
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
10g fresh root ginger, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
400ml can coconut milk
4 dried Kashmiri chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp salt
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp clear honey
240g cod fillets, cut into 5cm chunks
200g spinach, finely chopped
2 x 180g packs raw king prawns
2 tbsp sunflower oil or ghee}
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 red chilli, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
280g basmati rice, rinsed
Handful fresh coriander, leaves finely chopped
1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, until you start to get some colour. Add the garlic and ginger; cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat, until they start to soften. Stir in the coconut milk, then tip into a blender and whizz to a purée.
2. Meanwhile, for the rice, boil a kettle. Heat the oil or ghee in a separate pan and add the cumin seeds; once they start to sizzle, add the chilli and salt, then stir in the rice. Add the coriander and stir everything together, then slowly add 700ml just-boiled water. Mix well, cover and cook over a low heat for 12 minutes. Take off the heat, without removing the lid, and let the rice sit for 5 minutes.
3. Put the dried chillies and the cumin, mustard and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a low heat; toast for a few seconds until aromatic. Crush together with a pestle and mortar until you have a rough powder.
4. Return the onion-tomato mixture to the pan, cover and cook for 5 minutes over a low heat. Add the salt, chilli powder, turmeric, honey and the crushed toasted spices; mix well. Nestle in the cod and spinach; cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the prawns and cook for 3 minutes more, until the prawns and cod are cooked through and opaque. Use a fork to fluff up the rice, then serve it with the curry.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in April 2021.