This delicious, creamy Fijian seafood curry is simplicity itself. You can use any type of seafood in it and it is one of the fastest curries to cook using ingredients you probably already have! It was one of our favourite dishes during our recent stay at Turtle Island and they generously shared their recipe with me!
It never ceases to amaze me how many different curries there are out there. Fiji has a whole range of curries from chicken, vegetable and seafood. These curries come from the Indian indentured labourers that came over from 1879. They made their home made curries using ingredients that they found in Fiji and this has given rise to Fijian Indian cuisine. Around 40% of Fiji's population is of Indian heritage. It was at another resort, the Outrigger that I got another delicious Indo Fijian chicken curry recipe which is also really worth making.
Which seafood to use? One of the great things about this seafood curry is that you can use any seafood in this curry. Just make sure to cut the fish into small bite sized pieces as prawns and calamari take very little time to cook. Any firm white fish works well in this curry. I like the prawns peeled and headless and split down the back quite deep so that they curl over just for a bit of textural contrast to the fish. I used fish and prawns which is what they used at Turtle Island.
Which curry powder to use? I use Baba's meat curry powder. You can find this from Asian grocery stores and it is a fantastic, aromatic curry powder. It comes in large bags so I often portion it out to give to friends as you want to keep curry powder fresh.
Mustard seeds: If you don't have yellow mustard seeds, black ones will also work. They just have a slightly more robust flavour.
As I mentioned I was lucky enough to receive this recipe from Turtle Island resort where we recently stayed for my birthday. All of the food was great but I really loved the curry lunch that we received one day and the seafood curry was the absolute highlight. I couldn't wait to make it when I got home. Sometimes the best way to ease back into regular life after a holiday is getting a little taste of things that you enjoyed.
We had such a great holiday that we booked a return trip in a few years' time. I really got to relax this time and loved the food and beach picnics. Mr NQN loved being barefoot and he loves all of the water sports available - he windsurfed every day that he could and would come back to the bure with a wide grin on his face.
As for me I had a routine that proved quite perpelexing for everyone at the resort from staff to other guests. I would wake up at around 9am, have a cup of tea, do a workout, shower and get dressed and be ready around noon. This caused some confusion and concern among the staff and guests. "Is Lorraine okay?" they would ask Mr NQN looking worried. He had to reassure them many times that I was indeed alive, not sick or hungover and that I was simply taking my sweet ass time getting it together for the day ahead.
On the last day we had to check out early and I set the alarm for 6am with a little dread. I woke up, did a condensed version of my routine and then left the bure at 8am. "Do you think anyone else will be awake?" I asked Mr NQN bleary eyed. He laughed, "Everyone will be awake," and sure enough everyone was already there, many had already finished their breakfast. In fact the only people missing were the teenage kids of a couple!
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your tip for easing back into regular life after a holiday? Do you wake up early when on holiday? Have you ever tried a Fijian curry?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Fijian Seafood Curry
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 3 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott adapted from Turtle Island
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3-4 people
- Coconut oil for frying
- 1 large yellow or white onion, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 500ml/1 pint coconut milk
- 500g/1.1lbs mixed seafood (I used peeled prawns and ling fish cut into bite sized pieces)
- Salt and pepper
Step 1 - Heat the coconut oil in a large pot on medium heat and add the onion, garlic, cumin and mustard seeds and fry for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Add the turmeric and curry powder and add a little water if it is dry. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, oyster sauce and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the seafood and stir gently to cook through. Add seasoning to taste and serve with rice.