Fish Tikka is often overlooked for some of the more popular Tandoori recipes yet fish marinates really well and is quick and easy to cook. Fish makes a top Indian starter but also makes an excellent main dish if combined with Bombay Aloo and Spiced Indian Mixed Salad.
What you need… • 4 white fish fillets, about 120-150g each • 0.5 recipe of Tikka Marinade
How to make it… 1. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and coat the pieces in the Tikka Marinade. Leave for at least 15 minutes but preferably 24–48 hours. 2. Preheat your oven to 170 C. Place the pieces on a greased baking tray, ensuring all the pieces are kept well apart and cook, turning once, until the fish flakes with a fork and the marinade is crispy (about 20 minutes). Check one of the largest pieces to ensure it’s cooked. If not return to the oven.
Created, as legend has it, when a British army officer travelling on the railway in the 1900s found his curry too hot. The chef added some yoghurt to cool it down and the legendary Railway Curry was born. Traditionally cooked with on-the-bone mutton, this dish is often compared to an English stew, as later versions would cut out some of the spices to mellow the dish further. This recipe uses chunks of lamb but retains the yoghurt.
What you need… • 600g lamb, cut into large bite-sized pieces • 2 Tablespoons oil • 1.5 onions, finely chopped • 250ml hot water • 250g potato, peeled and cut into 4cm pieces • 1 Tablespoon curry powder • 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder • 0.5 teaspoon chilli powder • 200ml pureed tomato • 1 Tablespoon tamarind paste • 2 teaspoons garam masala • 2 Tablespoons yoghurt • Salt to taste
Marinade • 1 teaspoon garlic paste • 1 teaspoon ginger paste • 0.5 teaspoon salt • 0.5 teaspoon black pepper
Whole spices • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds • 3 Bay leaves • 2 red chillies • 2 cardamons, cracked but not crushed
How you make it… 1. Mix the marinade ingredients together and add the lamb, making sure all pieces are well coated. Set aside for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour if possible 2. Heat the oil to a high heat and cook the whole spices for 20 seconds, stirring quickly to avoid them burning. 3. Turn down the heat and add the lamb, and keep stirring until all the pieces are sealed (about 5 minutes). 4. Add the onion and fry for 3 minutes. 5. Add the hot water, stir well, cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking. 6. Add the curry powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder, tomato and tamarind, mix well, cover and cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally to stop it sticking. 7. While the lamb is cooking boil the potatoes in water until they are almost cooked. Ensure they are not soft as they will be added to the main pot to boil a bit longer. Once they are ready remove from the hot water so they do not keep cooking. 8. Add the garam masala to the lamb and cook for 5 minutes. 9. Add the yoghurt, mix well, then add the potatoes and cook until the lamb is tender and the potato pieces are cooked through. Check a piece of each to ensure they are ready.
Take one Indian Ocean island with great fishing around it’s coral reefs and add a huge Indian diaspora and it’s not surprising you can get great fish curries in Mauritius. Simply create a mildish sauce with spices and curry leaves and add delicious fresh fish with aubergine slices.
What you need… • 4 Tablespoons oil • 0.5 cumin powder • 1 Tablespoon curry powder • 800g red snapper (or other firm, white fish), cut into bite-sized pieces • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste • salt to taste • 1 aubergine, sliced into 6 pieces (de-stalked but not peeled) • Few coriander leaves (for garnish) • 2 green chillies, sliced lengthways (for garnish)
How you make it… 1. Blend all the ingredients for the Spice Paste and set aside. 2. Mix the curry and cumin powders with a little water to create a paste and set aside. 3. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil to a medium heat, add the fish and cook until all the pieces are sealed and start to brown (about 3-4 mins). Remove and set aside. 4. Add another 1 Tablespoon oil to the pan, add the aubergine slices and fry until they soften and start to brown (about 3 minutes). Remove and set aside. 5. Add the rest of the oil, the Spice Paste and cook until the oil separates from the paste (about 3 minutes). 6. Add the tomato paste and salt, and cook for 2 minutes. Add water as required. 7. Add the aubergine until it absorbs the sauces (about 1 minute). 8. Add the fish and fry gently until all the pieces are cooked through. 9. Add the coriander leaves and chilli slices as garnish and serve.
As with many South Indian dishes, Sri Lankan cuisine combines the spices of India with the creaminess of the coconut and tanginess of tamarind to create that delicious taste of the coast. Fish is an abundant resource and while it is usually cooked in chunks, with a little extra patience and care cooking the salmon darne whole absorbs the flavours well and looks great. You’ll need a large, flat-bottomed pan to cook the salmon darnes whole or split the sauce into two pans.
What you need… • 4 salmon darnes of about 180g each (with skin left on one side) • 2 Tablespoons oil • 1 onion, finely chopped • 2 teaspoons garlic paste • 1 teaspoon ginger paste • 3 chillies, chopped • 2 tomatoes, chopped • 1 Tablespoon tomato ketchup • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste • 400ml coconut milk • 15 curry leaves • Cracked pepper to garnish
Marinade • Tablespoon lemon juice • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder • 1 teaspoon chilli powder • 0.5 teaspoon salt • 0.5 cracked black pepper
How you make it… 1. Dry the salmon darnes with a paper towel. 2. Mix all the marinade ingredients and rub it on the salmon, making sure they are all well covered. Leave for 30 minutes. 3. Heat the oil to a medium heat, add the onion and cook until they soften (about 5 minutes). 4. Add the garlic paste and ginger paste and cook for 1 minute. 5. Add the chillies and cook for 1 minute. 6. Add the tomatoes, tomato ketchup and tamarind, and cook for 3 minutes. 7. Add the coconut milk, stir well and cook until the sauce reduces (about 4–5 minutes). 8. Add in the salmon pieces, gently cover them in sauce, add the curry leaves, and let the sauce bubble away until the salmon is cooked (about 8–10 minutes). 9. Serve with some cracked peppers on the top.
How you cook it 1. Heat oil and fry onions until clear (not brown). 2. While this is frying mix ingredients with water to create paste (until it is consistency of tomato ketchup). 3. Add paste and fry for 1 minute. 4. Add baby cuttlefish and cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes. 5. Serve with rice and sprinkle fresh coriander on top.