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Fish Curry

This is a simple curry to make; the spices are warm and welcoming without being burning hot, the coconut milk is rich and creamy, and the whole thing is cooked within about 20 minutes. Served with some rice, this is a different but satisfying meal.

Curries are dishes that originate in the Indian subcontinent. Their common feature is the use of many spices, often including chilies, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. They can be made vegetarian, or with poultry, shellfish, fish, lamb, goat or beef.  Curry powder is a blend of spices thought to have first been prepared by Indian merchants for sale to members of the British Colonial government and army returning to Britain. 

I never ate curries growing up; I think that for most of my life I found black pepper the spiciest thing I could handle. But thanks to the internet, I have tried recipes that have helped expand and educate my palate. Stilton cheese is now delicious to me instead of moldy; mushrooms are earthy instead of dirty; seafood is the ocean’s gift to mankind rather than questionable. I am still learning to tolerate spice; hot peppers are still a little out of my comfort zone. However, the warm spices of curry powder with a little kick from the cayenne suits me perfectly.

For this recipe, I highly recommend a steak-like meaty fish, like swordfish. You want something that won’t flake and fall apart into your curry. Be sure to use the full-fat canned coconut milk; this recipe with not work with the kind of coconut milk that you drink. You can find the canned variety in the baking or international aisles of just about any grocery store.


1 pound boneless swordfish fillet, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon flavorless oil (canola, grapeseed, vegetable)
1 medium sweet onion, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
pinch red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 can coconut milk
1/4 seafood stock (or veggie stock)- salt free!
Parsley, for garnish

Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat and pour in the oil. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes, until very fragrant and lightly golden brown. Add in the tomatoes and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Using a spatula, smash the tomatoes to break them up and turn the mixture into a paste.

Add the garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, cayenne, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook another 3 minutes.

Turn the heat to medium high, and pour in the coconut milk and stock. When the mixture is boiling, add the fish and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.

Serve with some rice and garnish with parsley and enjoy!


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