This snapper curry is remarkable. It's easy, tasty and with just a few ingredients! It involves very little stove time and is given colour and flavour from basic pantry spices. Plus with the ingredients list being so short you'll be surprised at how delicious this is!
I confess that if I had seen this recipe in a cookbook I would have bypassed it. I would have dismissed it as lacking flavour or not having enough. But nowadays we need recipes with few ingredients. We need recipes where you can pull out something frozen and use our pantry for the majority of it.
I saw this on Dear Reader Matilda's Instagram stories. It looked so delicious I asked her for the recipe. She sent it to me (from chef Pete Evans) and it looked simple but I adapted it a bit based on what I had. What I loved was it's simplicity and how quickly it cooked.
Options: use any type of fish fillet. Any white fish will do like grouper, mulloway, blue eye trevalla but this would also work well with salmon. Also, if you are really in a hurry for the fish to cook, cut it up into bite sized pieces and that also works well (in which case you'd only need to cook the fish for 3 minutes).
Dry Frying vs Frying In Oil: Dry frying is a good first step for curry spices. Dry frying is when you places ground or whole spices in a hot pan without any oil. The result is different from frying spices in oil. Dry frying creates deeper, more layered flavour profiles with spices and cooks off the volatile aromatics. Frying in oil brings out the original flavour of the spice and releases oil soluble compounds. In this recipe we dry fry and then fry in oil to get the best of both worlds!
Serve this curry with: I served this with steamed rice on a couple of nights and then roast potatoes another night. You can also omit the coconut cream if you're trying to keep it low fat.
This came together so quickly I had some time to spare before dinner. I decided that now was the time I was going to start the jigsaw puzzle that Laura had loaned me. She has found them very helpful in getting her through isolation so I thought I'd give it a go as I need something else to focus on.
It was a jigsaw puzzle of the Queen with a flower garland and Laura had warned me that it was a difficult one. Mr NQN had laughed when he saw that she had loaned me a puzzle. "You? The least patient person I know?" he said with a great deal of skepticism. With more confidence than I felt (and also a dash of indignation) I opened the box and thought, "How hard could it be?".
As I was staring at all of those pieces in the box a wave of fear washed over me. I took some out and I felt the anxiety rise until it was bubbling in my throat and threatened to choke me. I didn't even like looking at all of those pieces so I quickly abandoned Queenie and left the pieces on the table. I should add I also have a problem with colouring books. I dislike the whole process of colouring in and that probably stems from always getting in trouble for not colouring between the lines as a kid at school (I was always naughty it seems). And this was shades of getting in trouble all over again.
Later on I was dishing up the curry up for dinner when Mr NQN walked in after walking Teddy. "Oh cool, you took out the jigsaw puzzle!" he said looking at the pieces scattered on the table. He then went into a zone for the next three hours where he sat there doing the puzzle barely looking up only to eat this curry. He usually doesn't like cooked fish but this was so good he asked for a second helping of the same size.
So the sayings go you can't teach a dog new tricks (me with jigsaw puzzles) but sometimes a leopard can change it spots and enjoy cooked fish!
So tell me Dear Reader, are you good at jigsaw puzzles or colouring books? How often are you eating fish nowadays?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Fish Curry With Turmeric
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 12 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 people
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 onions, peeled and finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 3/4 cup stock (fish, chicken or vegetable)
- 500g/1.1lbs snapper fillets (or barramundi), cut into 5-6 portions
- 200ml/7flozs. coconut cream
- Chilli flakes and coriander (optional)
Dry frying the spices
Step 1 - Heat a large saucepan on medium to high heat and add the turmeric, cumin seeds and mustard seeds and dry fry (don't add oil) for a minute or so. Add the oil, onions and garlic and stir to coat them with the spices. Fry for about 5 minutes or until soft and fragrant.
Step 2 - Add tomatoes and cook until soft-press down on them with your wooden spoon if you need to. I also added some zucchini stems as well because I had some left over from another recipe.
Step 3 - Add the stock and then nestle snapper fillets in amongst the onions and stock. Simmer gently with the lid on for 10 minutes turning over carefully once halfway through. Add coconut cream on top. Season with salt and pepper. Add chilli flakes and coriander if you have them.