- 600 g rock ling, hake or other firm white fish fillets, skin removed
- salt, to season, plus 1 tsp, approximately, extra
- pepper, to season
- 60 ml (¼ cup) cooking oil
- pinch of fennel seeds
- pinch of cumin seeds
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 red birdseye chilli, halved lengthways
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp hot masala, or to taste
- 1 tsp medium masala
- 3 tomatoes, peeled, grated
- 1 tsp tamarind pulp, mixed with 60 ml (¼ cup) boiling water and strained
- 1 tbsp raw sugar, or to taste
- 10 fresh curry leaves, bruised
- ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
- yellow rice, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Season the fish with salt and pepper and cut into large bite-size pieces.
Heat the oil in a wok or wide saucepan over high heat. Add the fennel and cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the onion and cook for 5–6 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining spices and 2–3 tbsp water to prevent spices from burning and sticking to pan. Cook for 1–2 minutes.
• It’s important not to stir the curry or the fish will break up.
• If the sauce is too watery, remove the lid and simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens slightly.