South Indian Seafood Curry

This is fast becoming one of my favourite curries. I make it very regularly. It’s one of the easiest and most fuss free curries I make. There are lots of ingredients sure, but there’s very little other preparation, and hardly any chopping! Unlike most curries, this one doesn’t have any onion, garlic or ginger. But you’d never know or miss them. The flavours are rounded, intense and amazingly addictive. The thin but creamy sauce works very well with all seafood – I have made it using chicken too and I have to say it just didn’t work. It’s much better suited to seafood. I generally use salmon or trout but this version with a mixture of seafood was exceptional.

3 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

Spice Mix 1:
10-15 fresh curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
5 black peppercorns
2 dried red chillies
1 cinnamon stick

Spice Mix 2:
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 X 400g can coconut milk
1 large tomato (diced)
1 teaspoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 teaspoon tamarind pulp

500g mixed seafood. Prawns (peeled & deveined), calamari (cleaned and cut into rings), fish (skin off cut into chunks), mussels (out of shells).
1 cup frozen peas

Fresh coriander for garnish

In a wok, heat the oil until hot. Add spice mix 1 and stir for 30 seconds until aromatic.

Add spice mix 2, the tomato and about 1/2 cup coconut milk. Let this come to a sizzle, stirring constantly to avoid sticking and burning. Stir this way for 10 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce is thick and unctuous and the oil has separated.

Add the remaining coconut milk. Refill the can about 2/3 with water and add this too. Now add the palm sugar and tamarind and bring to a simmer. Add all the seafood and peas and cook for 7 minutes until fully cooked. Remove from the heat, adjust seasonings of salt & tamarind to get the right salty sour balance, then sprinkle over the fresh coriander and serve.

I almost always serve this curry with an amazing fragrant lentil rice called kitchari. The two work perfectly together.

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