Monday, 26 November 2012

Curried fish in yoghurt

This is a really terrific fish curry that I found in Guardian Weekend by Vivek Singh, via Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Watch out for the chilli in this - the way I use chillies is to buy packs of non-descript chillies from Waitrose and then let them sit in a jar until I need to use them. Of course, while they're sitting around they famously get very hot. I used one large one in this curry, no seeds, and it was fucking spicy. I mean, I don't really mind because I'm rock hard like that (I was especially tough and cool when I GOT SOME IN MY EYE!!!).

But the thing is, because you're not going to cook the chilli much here, you need to have a care for how hot your chilli might be whatever stage in its life it is and you might, perhaps, only put half in.

Anyway I really recommend this, it was delicious and doesn't take long. Like all curry recipes, the ingredients list doesn't seem to half go on for bloody ever, but it's worth buying everything in if you don't have it, especially the cinnamon sticks, which really make this extra yummy, in my opinion.

Even though I've always thought that cinnamon in curry is a bit gross, like fruit in leafy salads. But it's nearly Christmas for god's sake!!! You ought to have cinnamon sticks poking out of every drawer.

Curried fish in yoghurt
enough for 4

300g plain whole-milk yoghurt (I used Greek yoghurt, which was fine)
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
salt and pepper
500g white fish - haddock or similar, cut into chunks
oil for frying
1 bay leaf
2 cardomom pods, squashed with the flat of a knife blade
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 large onion, or three tiny ones, chopped or finely sliced
chilli, de-seeded and chopped or sliced
Fresh coriander and black onion seeds to scatter over the top if you fancy although on reflection, what with my rodent issues, onion seeds look a lot like mouse poo. This did not occur to me last night as I was eating this, which is a good thing. Sorry I've really ruined the whole thing for you now.

1 Mix together the yoghurt, ginger, garlic, turmeric, chilli powder and large pinch of salt. Turn the fish out into the marinade and leave for 30 mins.

2 Heat the oil in a pan then add the bay leaf, cardomom, cinnamon and cloves. Cook these for 2-3 minutes until you can smell the cinnamon and cloves. Add the onion and chilli and turn the heat right down. Cook these, turning often, for 10 minutes (use a timer).

3 Add the fish and its marinade and cook for 10 minutes. Turn it once carefully during cooking as you don't want to smash up the fish. Cooked yoghurt always ends up looking a bit grainy and gross, so don't worry about that.

4 Add more salt if you think it needs it (it probably does) and then scatter over coriander and onion seeds if you want to.

In fact, with all these cinnamon and cloves it's really quite a Christmassy dish.



  1. I also used to be totally with you on the cinnamon/curry yurrgh factor, until I was converted by this chicken dish by Nigella - quite similar comforting flavours, plus sultanas and flaked almonds for extra xmassyness.

    p.s. onion seeds give me the cockroach egg ick factor. And if that doesn't spoil it for you...

  2. Hi, Esther! This looks pretty delicious considering it was cooked while you were half-blinded by chilli ;-) No, seriously, this looks SO good.

    We'd love to send you some of our Chobani Greek Yoghurt for any future cooking adventures - or just to enjoy on its own! Drop me an email at if you fancy and we'll get some out to you.

    Looking forward to the next post!

  3. I confess I didn't know that get chillies hotter while they're sitting around in their jars, so thank you for that. I love fish curries. And the Chilli Room - probably not the greatest name - restaurant in Croydon serves a fish tikka starter made with tilapia which, when it arrives sizzling and savoury at your table, is utterly mouthwatering.

  4. Help please!! I f'ing LOVE curry but despite trying to force myself for the past 10 years to like it, hate fish :( Do you think the recipe would work with chicken? xxxx

  5. I made this and it was lurvely - thanks for the recipe!