A traditional Brazilian dish of fish and bell peppers (capsicum) in a delicately flavoured coconut base broth, this stew really is quite unique.
I made this after being inspired by a visit to a Brazilian restaurant where they carved copious amounts of tender meat onto your plate quicker than you could eat it. I was in heaven. While the selection of meat was absolutely beautiful, what stood out for me most was the ‘salad bar’ that was on offer. There was a variety of Brazilian delicacies ranging from lentil salads, herb and garlic roast potatoes, black bean stew, rices, pastas, salsas, olives, garlic mushrooms, fresh fruits and vegetables, and many other things including moqueca. The spices were subtle but flavourful and the fish was welcome change from the heavy going grilled meats. I cooked up a batch for the family the day after and it was a total success.
This is actually quite refreshing rather than rich and heavy. In addition to coconut milk, the broth has in it canned tomatoes, lime juice, paprika and cumin powder. The paprika and cumin flavour is subtle, and to me, the standout is the lime flavour which cuts through the richness of the coconut milk.
The broth is quite refreshing and not too rich, unlike many strong flavoured, rich coconut based curries. I made this just using fish but it is also made as a seafood stew with prawns and calamari.
3-4 salmon fillets, skinned and cut into chunks
1 tbsp lime juice
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1 large red bell pepper, halved and sliced
1 tsp each of cumin and coriander powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
½ tsp salt
200ml coconut milk
400g can chopped tomatoes
100ml fish or chicken broth
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
For the fish: Combine the fish, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
For the broth: Heat a large pan over a medium high and add 1½ tbsp olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 1½ minutes or until the onion is starting to become translucent.
Add the bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the remaining broth ingredients. Bring to simmer then turn down to medium.
Add the salmon chunks, stir to coat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the salmon is tender. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Yes, it’s that time of year again! Everyone has eaten way too much and there is still more turkey than you know what to do with but have no fear. If in doubt, chuck it in a curry! Not just any old boring curry though, a vibrant Sri Lankan curry with creamy coconut, tangy lime and tomato and freshly ground spices for a flavour punch.
2 Tbsps groundnut oil
A pinch of cinnamon
10 green cardamom pods, cracked open
3 bay leaves
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 fat garlic cloves, crushed
50g peeled root ginger, finely grated
2 tbsp medium Sri Lankan curry powder (see recipe below)
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 x 230g tin plum tomatoes
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
3 green chillies, seeds removed, sliced
2-3 Tbsps coconut yoghurt
500g cooked turkey or chicken, shredded
1 Tbsp lime juice
fresh coriander, to finish
Sri Lankan Curry Powder
One of the characteristics of Sri Lankan cuisine is their preference for freshly prepared curry powders rather than pastes. The roasted curry powder is predominantly used in meat and fish dishes.
1 Tbsp uncooked white rice
50g coriander seeds
25g cumin seeds
25g fennel seeds
5cm cinnamon stick
1 ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp cardamom seeds (from about 10 green pods)
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
3 dried red Kashmiri chillies
Heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the rice ad shake the grains around for about 3 minutes until medium brown in colour. Tip the rice into a bowl and leave to cool while you do the same to the spices and then to the dried chillies. Mix the rice, spice and chillies together and grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar. Store in a screw top jar and use within 3 months.
For the Curry:
Heat a large, deep heavy-based frying pan. Add the cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves and leave them to become fragrant for a few seconds. Remove them and grind in a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
Add the oil then the onions and bay leaves to the pan and fry them gently for 5 minutes until soft and golden. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute, then add the curry powder, chilli powder and turmeric and fry gently for another minute.
Add the tomatoes (crushing the plum tomatoes with your hand as you add them), coconut milk, green chillies and a little salt. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Uncover, add the coconut yoghurt and the cooked turkey, recover and simmer for 5 minutes until piping hot. Stir in the lime juice and serve sprinkled with coriander.
A fragrant lamb kofta curry recipe that won’t need hours on the stove. Make it as mild or spicy as you like by adjusting the amount of chillies in the recipe. Sadly, my lack of photography and presentation skills does not do this justice but the taste is beautifully fragrant, aromatic and deep.
For the meatballs:
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
A few sprigs fresh mint, finel chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
3cm fresh ginger, grated
1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp desiccated coconut
400g lamb mince
For the curry sauce:
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
400g tin cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsps natural coconut yogurt
Fresh coriander, to serve
Lime wedges to serve
Toast the fennel seeds and coriander seeds in a dry pan until fragrant. Grind in a pestle and mortar then add to a bowl with all the other meatball ingredients. Mix all the meatball ingredients together with your hands. Season and roll into balls then chill until needed.
In a little oil, fry the onion, fresh ginger, garlic, garam masala and ground turmeric for 5 minutes. Stir in the tin of tomatoes and a splash of water and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the meatballs, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir through the natural coconut yogurt and serve with coriander, lime wedges, steamed rice and extra yogurt.
I absolutely love rolling my sleeves up in the kitchen to undertake a big Indian feast. Nothing pleases me more than mixing the fresh spices, toasting and grinding them to create beautiful aromas and tastes. But sometimes, there isn’t always time in the day to get so hands on as less important tasks such as the day job get in the way. That doesn’t mean that a wonderful Indian meal is out of bounds though. With the help of a jar of curry paste, you can whip up a delicious curry in about 15 minutes.
I’d like to urge that this recipe uses a curry PASTE and not a curry SAUCE. Ready made curry sauces are full of sugar and additives and don’t taste anywhere near as good as a freshly prepared curry. Paste, on the other hand, is a perfectly selected blend of freshly ground spices with the addition of ginger and garlic which are immediately preserved in vegetable oil so that the air does not get to them and alter their flavour profile.
3 tablespoons oil
1 inch cube of ginger, peeled and finely grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons Rogan Josh curry paste (or your choice)
450g raw peeled prawns
50g creamed coconut, roughly chopped
150ml hot water
2 Tablespoons freshly chopped coriander
2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
2 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add the curry paste and fry for a further 2 minutes until it looks like it is splitting from the oil.
Add the prawns to the pan and stir fry over a high heat for 3 minutes until pink. Add the creamed coconut and hot water and stir every now and then until the coconut had melted. Simmer for 1 minute.
Mix the coriander with the red chillies and spring onions. Stir into the prawns and serve immediately.
This is great served with rice and chapatis and even more fresh coriander.
Spice up your mid-week with this deliciously fragrant broth packed with soft rice noodles and juicy prawns. Using vibrant curry paste, zesty lime, rich fish sauce and creamy coconut milk you can achieve an authentic taste in minutes with this recipe.
2 sheets Thai rice noodles
1 tsp oil
1 garlic clove, grated
Knob of ginger, grated
1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
200g large cooked king prawns
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded, and sliced
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Dash of fish sauce and soy sauce
Coriander leaves, to garnish
Put the noodles into a bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Leave for 4 minutes until they swell up and turn white.
Add the oil to a wok over a medium heat. Fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds.
Add the Thai curry paste to the wok with the coconut milk. Heat gently, stirring.
Add the prawns, spring onions, red chilli, lime zest and juice, fish sauce and soy sauce. Warm through for a couple of minutes.
Drain the noodles and nestle them in the centre of your dinner bowls. Pour the coconut curry broth around the outside and top with the prawns. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Addictive and comforting, this lentil soup is rich and creamy, yet still manages to be light and delicate, if that makes any sense at all. It also uses puy lentils. They become tender in a relatively short amount of time but don’t lose their shape, unlike most other lentil varieties.
Make this soup for a crowd and I guarantee you everyone will be scratching their heads, wondering what is in it that makes it taste so special. Also, as is the case with practically all soups, this one tastes even better on day two or three.
The use of ghee and gently frying the spices really intensifies their flavour while adding rich, buttery goodness.
As shown in the pictures, you can vary the amount of stock and coconut milk added and have this dish as a dahl served with paratha or as a soup. I made a big batch and added more stock and coconut milk to one half. Best of both worlds!
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
500ml-1.5 L (6 cups) chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 and 1/2 cups Lentilles de Puy (French green lentils), rinsed and picked over
2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of ground nutmeg
fresh black pepper
1/2 cup-1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
Heat the unsalted butter in a large soup pot. Add the diced onion and garlic, and saute over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft and translucent. They will reduce in volume significantly.
Add the fresh thyme and turmeric, and continue to saute for an additional 7-8 minutes, until the mixture is very soft and fragrant.
Add the stock and the lentils and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender (yet still hold their shape).
In a small saucepan, heat the ghee (or clarified butter or unsalted butter) over low heat. Add the spices and fresh black pepper, and saute, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or so, until the butter is fragrant. Watch the pan carefully, as it can easily go from fragrant to burned quite quickly.
Add the butter-spice mixture to the soil. Pour in the coconut milk, and heat soup over medium heat for 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.