Looking to impress your mother this mother’s day? Look no further this oven cooked fish curry will bring delight to her heart. It’s hot, tangy and the most luscious curry you’ve had. The distinct tamarind flavour truly brings this curry to a different dimension. Tamarind paste can be found in any Asian shops these days and can be kept in the fridge for ages.
In the other hand how many times have you heard me talk about how important it is to eat fish? Let me say it once more. It is very important to eat fish at least twice a week. I know buying fish can be a bit pricey but it’s our health we’re talking about here. Having said that, you don’t have to re-mortgage the house just to have fish on the table every week. If money’s tight then maybe broaden your horizons past fillets. Yes I know they’re easy to cook and eat but we need to keep our eyes open for good value, especially when we’re feeding a whole household. Check out your local Asian supermarket for frozen fish. I bet you’ll find some bargains and though the fish is frozen it is more likely to be wild caught fish rather than farmed fish (that’s my own opinion).
I get a bag of 7-8 plump whole tilapia in my local Asian supermarket for €11 and that could do us for a few dinners. Don’t forget to keep the fish heads for a delicious boullion
Cooking a whole fish can be intimidating I know. I remember watching my mother and grandmother spending hours in the kitchen trying to bring the flavour of the fish through a dominating thick, spicy, tangy curry. I also like to make the most of the flavours in my cooking but I prefer to do it without killing myself in the effort. I don’t have all day to be standing at the cooker, so I do my best using my own adapted methods. There’s a personal cost to frying fish. You stink afterward! In your hair, on your skin, in your clothes.. it gets everywhere. So, this time I used my new cast Iron
pot that I recently bought in LIDL
. You know how much I like my one pot dishes. It makes life so much simpler. Simpler’s not even the right word, I think ‘achievable’ is better.
Well, it’s not entirely oven cooked, I started on the hob for my curry paste. It’s important to get this part right, you need to start with a properly formed and well cooked curry paste. Next I moved my cast iron pot, fish an’ all, into the oven. It’s great to be able to cook the fish like this in the oven as the even heat means you don’t need to stir the pot as you would need to on a direct heat like the hob. Naturally if you have to stir the pot the fish will break up and that wouldn’t be so good. Not only that, once it’s in the oven you can walk away from it while it cooks and do something else. If you’ve been nervous about cooking whole fish or indeed a fish curry then try it this way. I guarantee you that it’s not complicated. You’ll be well pleased with yourself when you see how easy, cheap and delicious this is.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
4 whole Tilapia gutted and cleaned Head removed
1 table spoon of coconut oil
1 large or 2 medium size white onions
5-8 curry leaves or 3 bay leaves
1/2 tea spoon of fenugreek seeds
1/ tea spoon of whole garam masala
3 plum tomatoes chopped
4 cloves of garlic crushed
2 inch of ginger crushed
2 table spoon of tomato paste
5 table spoon of curry powder
1/2 tea spoon of turmeric powder
1 aubergine cut into cubes
1 table spoon of pitted tamarind paste (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Coriander leaves as garnish
- Soak the tamarind paste in boiling water.
- Heat oil in a dutch oven cookware. Add the curry leaves or bay leaves. Add the fenugreek seeds and whole garam masala. Toast them for few seconds then add the chopped onions, season the onions. Cook till onion is translucent.
- Add tomatoes and cook till reduced.
- Add the curry powder, turmeric, tomato paste and about 1/4 cup of water to form a paste with the curry. Stir constantly to prevent from burning. If paste is too dry add few more drops of water. (it shouldn't be too runny like a sauce YET though)
- Keep stirring and cooking the curry till oil starts bubbling on the top.
- Add the aubergine now if using. Add the fish and stir gently to coat the fish with the spices.
- Add water to cover the fish.
- Mix the tamarind with the soaking water and pour all into the curry.
- Simmer in a preheated oven at 180C for about 30 minutes or till fish is cooked.
- Cooking time depends on the size of the fish.
If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and don’t forget to tag a picture#everydaycookingwithmira on Instagram or Facebook so we can see what you come up with. Till then Keep Well!