Week 4 of my Christmas Cookbook series takes a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients book. The book was pretty huge over the Christmas season, with the TV series running alongside it, and when the days are short it’s nice to have one of the quick and simple recipes to fall back on.
I decided to take the So Easy Fish Curry recipe as we haven’t had a fish recipe so far, and I love cooking curry on the barbecue as it keeps all of the lingering aromas out of the kitchen. Where some curry’s can be time heavy, this one can take 15 minutes start-to-finish, and as the whole thing is cooked in the same pot, washing-up is a breeze.
The fist time I cooked the curry for friends the overriding comment was that it was sweet. For a fish curry it’s not the comment, or taste profile I’d expect so I remade it and altered the recipe slightly. In addition to increasing the spicing I also split out some of the method to allow some time to develop the flavours of the korma paste and lime pickle.
- 2 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
- 500g ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
- 500g white fish fillets, such as haddock, skinned, pin-boned and cut into 4cm cubes – I used cod
- 1 heaped tablespoon of korma curry paste – I used 2 heaped tablespoons
- 1 tablespoonlime pickle – I used 2 heaped tablespoons
- 1 x 400g tine of light coconut milk
- Setup your BBQ for 200c semi-indirect heat with the fuel basket brought in under the edges of the cast-iron pot. Preheat for 10 minutes with the lid down.
- Add the oil to the pan and toss in the tomato halves. Blister for 2 minutes, or until they have softened and add in the korma paste.
- Stir in for 30 seconds to allow the korma spices to come back to life, then add in the lime pickle. Stir in for a further 30 second and enjoy the heady aromatics wafting around the BBQ!
- Use a spoon to remove the coconut water solids that have risen to the top of the can and set hard. Add the solids to the pan first, allow to melt into the sauce and bubble for 2 minutes before adding the remaining liquid from the can.
- Bring back to the boil before adding the cubes of fish. Lightly stir through the curry and leave for 3-4 minutes to cook. Be careful not to overcook or the fish will simply flake apart in the sauce.
- Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper and serve as I did with brown rice and steamed tenderstem broccoli, or other greens.
I Whenever you’re cooking with spices it’s important to wake them up by cooking them out as it’s known in the trade. This just means adding them to whatever it is you’re cooking, before you add in all the liquid. By cooking them in the oil on the bottom of the pan the spices are woken up, the oil are heated with a jolt of heat and the flavours will be heightened to give a real depth of flavour. As well as increasing the spice from the original recipe, separating out the method to add the korma paste and lime pickle one at a time is probably my own alteration after cooking this dish for the first time.
Verdict: A curry with only 5 ingredients was always going to be an interesting dish, as usually the list of ingredients is as long as your arm! The depth of flavour can’t easily be achieved with a shorter list but this recipe makes a good go of it. The flavour that comes from the korma paste and the lime pickle does need to balance the over-riding sweetness of the coconut milk, but that’s down to personal preference. For a quick dinner that’s easy and tasty this is definitely one for the memory bank!