My first attempt at cooking a Sri Lankan curry, and my no means my last….. so simple and flavorsome, why have I not experimented with this cuisine before now!?
The star of this dish was the awesome freshly caught fish that a work colleague gave to me …she competes in fishing tournaments most week-ends and luckily she and I both share a passion for cooking. Also lucky for me is that her partner fillets the fish and I get to eat the ‘winnings’ …..fresh fish on a Monday after their expedition, a win-win I say!!
I’ve been very inspired to cook something with curry leaves after watching many of the Peter Kuruvita cooking programmes on SBS television.
True to Peter’s Sri Lankan heritage, the Sydney chef and co-owner of the Flying Fish restaurant has made Sri Lankan food his “life and being”. He regularly travels back to the country to gather inspiration for his Pyrmont restaurant.
I hope that you enjoy this light and fresh curry which highlights the aromatics of ginger, the spicy crackle of mustard seeds and the unique smoky, citrus character of curry leaves.
4 x 200g fish fillets
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, sliced in rounds
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp minced ginger
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced into discs
6 large ripe tomatoes, in chunky dice
5 stems curry leaves
Place a large wide-based frypan over high heat. Add half the oil and heat for one minute.
Season the fish with the salt and fry, skin side down, for a minute or two to crisp the skin. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the same pan and heat through.
Add the onion, garlic, ginger and mustard seeds and cook, stirring, until the onion starts to soften (about one minute).
Add the potato slices and cook for a few more minutes, stirring until they begin to soften.
Add the chopped tomatoes, stir, season and cook for a few more minutes until the tomatoes break down and start to form a sauce.
Add 200 millilitres of water and the curry leaves (still attached to their stems) and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. The potatoes should be just cooked and the sauce will have thickened.
Check and adjust the seasoning. Make sure the sauce is on the drier side as the fish will release water and moisten it.
Add the fish, skin side up and cook for four to six minutes, or until cooked, with the lid on.
Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve with steamed brown rice.