Creamy, rich, coco’nutty sauce…. mmmm… mild aromatic spices…. and tender chunks of fish.. Oh yesss..
Now I’ve grabbed your attention, have a read of the following recipe, it’s a winner.
Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, no doubt most of which you are harboring in the depths of your kitchen cupboards. And, if you want to prepare the sauce day one and then finish things off day two that’s okay by me. We all know a curry improves with age!
Raw prawns, or a firm fleshed fish such as Gurnard would work equally well if you don’t want to *shell out* on Monkfish.
For the marinade:
- 1kg approx of Monkfish tail, filleted
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground Turmeric
- 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Chilli powder- or to taste!
Dice up your fish into 3-4 cm chunks or strips then rub the marinade ingredients well into the flesh. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours.
For the sauce:
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil + 1 for frying Aubergine
- 3 Medium onions, finely sliced
- 6 Cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 Thumb-size piece of fresh Ginger, crushed
- 2 Teaspoons hot mango pickle
- 1 Dessertspoon tomato puree
- 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
- 50g Piece of coconut cream, crumbled
- 30g Piece of Jaggery or Demerara sugar
- 1 Chicken or vegetable stock cube
- 2 medium Aubergines + 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon dried Fenugreek leaves
- Fresh coriander to finish (optional)
- Fresh red chillies to finish (optional)
- Salt to taste, I used around 2 teaspoons
Melt the first 3 spoons of oil in a wide bottomed pan and fry the onions on a medium heat until golden and nutty. add the garlic and continue until it begins to change colour.
Add the ginger, fenugreek and tomato puree and keep stirring the paste making sure it doesn’t catch. After a further 3-4 minutes add the ground spices reserving the mustard seeds for later.
Blitz the mango pickle and jaggery in the coconut milk until smooth and pour onto the masala. Fill up the empty coconut milk tin with water and add to the pot. Stir in the coconut cream and crumble in the stock cube, bring to a simmer. Cook out for around half an hour, allow to cool slightly then blend to a smooth sauce.
Hard part over..
- 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel seeds, dry roasted and ground
- 1/2 Teaspoon Fenugreek seeds, dry roasted and ground
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds, dry roasted and ground
- 1 Teaspoon dried mango powder
- 6 Green Cardamom pods, seeds only, ground
- 1 Teaspoon brown mustard seeds for tempering
Dice the aubergines into similar sized chunks as the fish then toss with the salt. Leave to drain in a colander for a minimum of 3 hours. *you can skip this stage, but it reduces the quantity of oil needed for frying later*
Squeeze out the excess water from the aubergines and pat dry. Heat the reserved coconut oil in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds, when they begin to crackle add the aubergines. Fry until golden and tender then set aside and keep warm.
Bring the sauce back to a gentle simmer then add your marinaded fish along with any juices. bring back to a simmer and cook until the monkfish is almost ready, add back the aubergines. Taste!
Serve whilst piping hot scattered with coriander leaves and chopped red chillies.
I’d go for plain steamed rice, but Chappatis fresh from the Tava take things to another level!