I found the spices and coconut that the Sri Lankan’s use in their curries such an inspiration, what an explosion of flavours and oriental smells! Trust me this Sri Lankan Fish Curry recipe is one you would love, just as I did the first time I tasted it.
If you are keen to try a vegan version of it, just replace the fish with butternet or aubergine.
You will need:
3 tbs Coconut oil, or Ghee (Clarified butter), or Olive oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 sprigs Curry leaves
3 to 4 Cloves
6 to 8 Black peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon
In a pan, heat the oil then add the mustard seeds, once the mustard seeds start to pop add the cumin, fenugreek, curry leaves, cloves, peppercorn and the cinnamon stick. Fry everything together for 1 minute.
Then add and fry: (Add a tbsp of extra oil if needed)
1 cup red onion
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tsp red chili flakes (if you can find the Sri Lankan ones use them they are the best)
1 cup tomato
2 tbs grated coconut (optional)
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp chili powder
2 tsp coriander powder
½ turmeric powder
In a dry hot pan add these spices and roast for 30 seconds then add it into the onion mixture.
2 tsp tamarind paste
Dilute the tamarind paste in 2 tbsp of water
(Tamarind is a sticky, sour tasting fruit that grows in large brown pods on the tamarind tree, a common fruit tree in Asia and Mexico.)
1 cup coconut milk
Now add the diluted tamarind paste and the coconut milk to the fried onions and garlic etc. Bring to the boil.
800 gr hake or hamour fish cut into blocks.
And finally, add the fish to the coconut milk mixture and cook for about 5 minutes. Make sure not to overcook the fish, it can easily become dry.
To serve, you can use Sri Lankan Hopper (pancake) or with milk rice.
Milk rice is 1½ cups rice cooked in 2 ½ cups water until cooked and then add 1½ cups coconut milk and salt to taste. Cook for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour rice out into a 4 inch square bowl and let it cool down. Cut into blocks and serve with the fish.
I tried the the hopper. It is actually a breakfast thing in Sri Lanka, but I served my fish curry in the pancake basket and it was quite popular among my friends.
If you are as lucky as I am, you can buy the readymade dough in our local supermarket, Lulu Supermarket
People from India call it Appam and the Sri Lankans call it Hopper.
If you would like to make the hoppers click here for the recipe.
This is such an easy dish to prepare and will really tickle your taste buds. A great way to entertain your friends the Sri Lankan way. I hope you enjoy this dish as much I loved to make it and eat it!