Fish with Mustard Seed and Coconut Milk
Fish / Spring / Nigel Slater / Serves: 3

groundnut oil - 3 tablespoons
600g firm white fish
cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
coriander seeds - 2 teaspoons
black mustard seeds - 2 teaspoons
small, hot, red chillies - 3
ginger - a walnut sized knob
onions - 3
garlic - 2 cloves
ground turmeric - 1 teaspoon
tomatoes - 500g,chopped
curry leaves - a handful
coconut milk - 400g can
steamed rice, to serve


This recipe originally calls for chicken. If you want to do this, replace the fish with one chicken, jointed into six pieces. At the very beginning of the recipe you will need to warm the oil and lightly brown the chicken on all sides. Lift it out of the pan on to a plate. Then follow the recipe as above making sure to use the same oil the chicken was browned in for the spices. After you had added the coconut cream, lower the chicken back in to the pan and then cover partially with a lid and simmer until the chicken is done - twenty to thirty minutes.


The Kitchen Diaries (2005)
Fourth Estate, London.
Pg 110.

Lightly grind the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds, not to a powder, but simply to break open the seeds and release some of their warmth. Heat the oil in a large pan or pot and add the ground spices. Seed and chop the chillies and add them to the pan. Peel the ginger and cut it into shreds (you can use a coarse grater), then peel the onions and chop them roughly. Stir them into the spices. You can turn the heat up a little, but keep stirring from time to time so that nothing burns.

Peel and chop the garlic and add it to the pan with the ground turmeric, chopped tomatoes, curry leaves and a little salt. Leave to simmer for five minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and let simmer until the consistency is reduced and is quite thick. Wash, dry and chop the fish into cubes. Add it to the pan. Cook for roughly five minutes - depending on the size and thickness of your fish.

Serve with steamed rice.