Malabar Seafood Molee

As I cooked this tonight, I was immediately transported to Southern India by the delicious aromas this curry emanated. I think it all came from the coconut oil which has the most amazing fragrance – quite unlike any other oil. It really did remind me of so many places I ate along the Malabar coast when I travelled there a few years ago. This dish is absolutely divine. I used salmon, for the first time in an Indian curry and I must say it worked very well indeed. It’s one of the best fish curries I’ve made in a very long time. Thankfully there was a little left over, so I shall be having that for lunch tomorrow, if not breakfast.

350g salmon fillets (skin off – cut into large chunks)
350g white fish (cut into large chunks)
12 raw king prawns
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil (or peanut oil)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
20 curry leaves
2cm cinnamon stick
1 large red onion (sliced)
4 hot green chilies (left whole, slit down the side)
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup canned chopped tomato
400ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp (mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
2 tablespoons fresh coriander (chopped)
lime wedges (optional)

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt and the turmeric over the fish and set aside.

Heat a wok with the coconut oil over a moderate heat until just smoking. Drop in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon and curry leaves and let them sizzle until the mustard seeds start to pop. Quickly add the onion and chillies and let them cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the powdered cumin, coriander, chilli powder and garam masala and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tomato and 1/4 of the coconut milk and bring to a simmer – cook for 3-4 minutes until reduced. Pour in the rest of the coconut milk, another teaspoon of salt and 250ml water and stir well. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Tip in the fish then instead of stirring, shake the pan till submerged. Cook for 5-7 minutes without stirring over a moderate heat until the fish is cooked through. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the tamarind. Fish out the chillies and cinnamon of you like.

Sprinkle over the fresh coriander and serve with lime wedges over plenty of fluffy basmati rice.

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