you are what you eat

Fish Curry and Rice


My Naani taught me this delicious fish curry recipe. One of her secret ingredients was and I quote “stir it with love”. So every time I make this fish curry, I make an effort to do it with extra caution and time. And I must admit, it does come out delicious time and time again. For the ingredients you will need:

– 800g of fish

– 1 brown onion, chopped

– 2 tablespoons canola oil

– 1 teaspoon jeeru (cumin)

– 2 teaspoon tomato paste

– 1 can italian chopped tomatoes (420g)

– 6 cloves garlic, minced

– 2 teaspoon  ginger paste

– 1 lemon grass root, cut into chunks

– 2tsp red chillies

– 3 Tablespoons lemon juice

– 1/3 cup aamli juice (I prefer the block of aamli which is soaked in boiling water and strained)

– 2 teaspoons dhana jeeru

– 1/2 teaspoon salt (we don’t eat much salt but try not to oversalt your food)

– 12 curry leaves


– Heat the canola oil on medium heat in a wide bottomed pan preferably a pan that is non stick. Add the onions and jeer, let the onions ‘sweat’ but not browned. Add the curry leaves and all the spices (not the aamli). Stir and once fragrant add the tomato paste.

– Throw in the crushed tomatoes and half a can of water to wash off the tin. Let the sauce simmer and lower the heat. Close the lid and let the sauce cook till done. You will know the sauce is ready hen the oil rises to the top. Do not let the sauce get dry and stick to the bottom. Once the sauce is cooked, add the aamli starting with half the required amount. I usually add half the aamli then stir and taste, it needs to be slightly tangy but not sharp. If you feel you need to add more aamli, go ahead but do so slowly, the sauce gets sharp very quickly. Once the aamli is added, let the sauce cook. It will become slightly darker with the aamli sauce. Once done, take the pot off the heat.

Wash and drain the fish. Cut into medium sized portions. Any fish will do but i like using Kinglip as the pieces do not break as easily as hake. I will use soldier or yellow tail when available. Be aware to only buy fish that is SASSI approved and from stores which sell fish which have been caught in a sustainable way (I was relieved to find my beloved food lovers market on the list of approved SASSI retailers!!). http://www.wwfsassi.co.za/?m=5&s=8

Fish curry can be accompanied by roti or rice. Once the rice is boiling and almost done, I add a cup of chopped vegetables (baby marrows, baby corn, carrot, green beans) and a 1/4 cup of brown lentils. Once the vegetables are added to the rice in the boiling water, do not let them boil too long or they will get mushy. Drain and set into another pot to steam.

15 minutes before your meal time, heat the tomato sauce. Once it starts to simmer, add the fish one at a time with the skin side down or if it is whole fish pieces, place next to each other in the sauce. Close the pot and let the fish cook. While being cooked, the fish will let our water and the sauce will become even more watery. But thats fine because the thick tomato gravy is under the fish.

Serve your Fish curry garnished with coriander and steamy hot over a bed of fluffy steamed rice.

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