An aromatic fish curry, best served over a bed of rice, from Chef Dezi Banhan of Hermitage Bay, Antigua, West Indies.
When preparing the dish, he uses eggplant and tomatoes grown in the resort’s organic kitchen garden. — Allison Beck.
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 1 pound Japanese eggplant
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- ½ stalk celery, diced
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander, toasted and ground
- ½ teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
- ¼ cup water or fish stock
- 2 pounds fresh white fish, such as snapper, cod, halibut, diced
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ¼ bunch cilantro, chopped
- Hot pepper sauce, to taste
In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat and sweat the garlic and onions until just translucent. Add the eggplant, tomatoes and celery. Cook until eggplant starts becoming soft. Add the curry powder, coriander and cumin. After about 3-4 minutes, add water or fish stock. Add the fish, coconut milk, and then season. Cook until fish starts to become tender, then before serving, add the herbs and adjust seasoning. Stir gently and serve over steamed rice.
Mauritian fish curry (Cari Poisson)
People always ask me: 'what is Mauritian food like? Are the curries similar to Indian style curries?' Well, yes. They have their similarities and differences, like those from different regions. Mauritian curries are fragrant, light dishes using thyme and fresh coriander, as well as heady spices of cinnamon, coriander, cumin and turmeric.
This recipe is shared during many family dinners in Mauritius, the traditional fish and aubergine curry or Cari Poisson, as it is called. In true fashion it is eaten with chutneys, salad, faratas or rice and pickles. The fish must be fresh. Steaks or fillets work well, but use white fish to achieve best results.
I never used to enjoy eating fish curries when I was younger, but since cooking local dishes from my Mauritian heritage this is slowly scaling up on the list of favourites from the Island. It tastes approximately 30 - 45 to make from start to finish, feeding 4 people, and is well worth the effort!
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Thai yellow curry paste (see Shopping Tip) or 1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 pound skinned salmon fillet, preferably wild Pacific (see Note), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add curry paste (or powder) and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add eggplant and cook, stirring, until the eggplant is coated with the curry mixture, about 2 minutes.
Add coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar to the pan. Bring to a boil stir in salmon and snow peas. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the salmon is cooked through and the peas are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in basil and lime juice.
Shopping Tip: Yellow curry paste is an aromatic blend of Thai flavors that includes chiles, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, lime and turmeric. Look for it in jars or cans in the Asian section of the supermarket or Asian markets.
Ingredient Notes: Wild-caught salmon from the Pacific (Alaska and Washington) are more sustainably fished and have a larger, more stable population. For more information, visit Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch (mbayaq.org/cr/seafoodwatch.asp).
Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets. We use Thai Kitchen fish sauce, lower in sodium than other brands (1,190 mg per tablespoon), in our nutritional analyses.
Kitchen Tip: To skin a salmon fillet, place on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.
How to make brinjal curry
3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pot. Add ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds and ½ cumin seeds. When they begin to splutter add 1 sprig curry leaves. Fry for a minute.
4. Then add onions and fry until golden or transparent.
5. Next fry 1 teaspoon ginger garlic, just until a nice aroma comes out.
6. Then add tomatoes and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt. Fry for about 2 mins and then cook covered until the tomatoes turn mushy.
7. Add ½ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala and 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. You can add all of these to suit your taste.
8. Saute until the raw smell of chili powder goes away. The masala turns aromatic at this stage.
9. Remove the brinjal cubes from water and add to the pot.
10. Saute them for 3 mins on a medium heat.
11. Pour half cup water. If you prefer a dry brinjal curry then reduce the water. Add as and when needed while you cook.
12. Mix and cook covered on a low flame.
13. When the brinjal is cooked, you will notice the skin turns loose or wilted depending on the kind of eggplants used. It turns soft too.
14. Taste test and add more salt if needed. You want you can simmer this longer until the eggplants turn mushy. Optional &ndash Pour ¼ cup thick coconut milk and stir well. When the brinjal curry begins to bubble turn off the heat. Sprinkle coriander leaves if you have.
Maacher jhol (Bengali fish curry with eggplant, cauliflower and potato)
This quintessential Bengali fish dish demonstrates hallmarks of Bengali cuisine — the use of mustard, a thorough preoccupation with freshness and a love of fish.
Rub the fish with one-half teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric. Set aside in a medium bowl.
Soak the cumin and mustard seeds in 4 teaspoons of warm water for 10 minutes, then put the seeds in a blender with the ginger and onions. Blend, using a little water as needed (we used one-quarter cup) to get a smooth, thick paste.
In a large wok or karai, heat the canola oil over high heat until shimmering, then reduce the heat slightly to medium-high and fry the fish pieces, turning occasionally until crisp and brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove the fish to a plate and drain the oil, reserving 2 teaspoons of the oil.
Add back the reserved oil to the pan and heat the pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion seeds and fry for 15 to 20 seconds, then add the onion paste. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 2 teaspoons of turmeric, red chile powder, ground coriander and potato wedges. Add a quarter-cup of water, cover loosely and cook until potato is almost done and a knife pierces the wedges fairly easily, about 20 to 25 minutes. Check the pan every few minutes, adding a quarter cup of water each time the contents begin to look dry, and stirring gently but often so nothing burns. Add the cauliflower, eggplant, green chiles, salt to taste and another quarter-cup water to thicken the sauce. Cover loosely and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower and eggplant are cooked.
Arrange the fish in the sauce and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add more water if needed to thin the sauce, and turn the fish pieces over once, but do not stir. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.
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Pound or blend lemon grass, drained chillies, ginger, garlic and shallots or onion to a paste. Season the fish. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a fry pan and quickly brown fish on both sides, then remove.
Add two tablespoons of oil and fry lemon grass paste for four minutes, stirring, or until it smells fragrant. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric, curry leaves, salt and sugar. Add tomatoes and eggplant and cook for three minutes.
Slowly add coconut milk, stirring, and bring just to the boil. Add tamarind while stirring, then return fish to the pan. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until the fish and eggplant are cooked through, then scatter with sprigs of curry leaves and serve hot.
A whole mackerel is ideal for this "kari ikan", cut crosswise into small, manageable steaks. Or use any other oily fish. If you don't have time to soak the chillies, use two fresh, mild red chillies or a good pinch of dried chilli flakes.
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons green curry paste
- 3/4 pound eggplant, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 small sweet potatoes (12 ounces total), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 sprig basil, plus leaves for serving
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless cod, bass, or halibut fillet, cut into 4 pieces
- Steamed rice, sliced Thai chiles, and lime wedges, for serving
Stir together coconut milk, curry paste, and eggplant in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Stir in sweet potatoes and basil sprig season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring a few times, until potatoes are almost tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Generously season fish with salt and nestle into skillet until partially submerged. Cook, partially covered, gently shaking skillet a few times, until just cooked through, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove basil sprig. Serve with rice, topped with basil leaves, chiles, and lime wedges.
- 8 Small Brinjal (Baingan / Eggplant) , cut into 1 inch wedges
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds (Rai/ Kadugu)
- 3 Dry Red Chillies , droken
- 2 sprig Curry leaves , torn
- 1 Onion , finely chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic , finely chopped
- 1 inch Ginger , finely chopped
- 2 Tomatoes , finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
- 1 teaspoon Coriander (Dhania) Powder
- 1 cup Tamarind Water
- 2 teaspoons Red Chilli powder , or as required
- 1 tablespoon Jaggery
- 1 cup Coconut milk , ()
- 1 cup Water
- Salt , to taste
Eggplant Curry with Lemongrass and Coconut Milk
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In this Thai curry, seared Asian eggplant simmers in a sauce of shallots, coconut milk, fish sauce, and a quick curry paste with lemongrass.
- 1 In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the lemongrass, cilantro, chiles, garlic, ginger, sugar, and turmeric to a paste. Set aside.
- 2 In a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil until very hot. Add the eggplant and cook, turning once, until browned on 2 sides, 3–4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- 3 In the same pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the paste and shallots. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, stock or water, and fish sauce, and stir well. Add the eggplant, and bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the eggplant is tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes longer.
- 4 Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with cilantro, and serve with rice.
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 onion , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , crushed
- 1 teaspoon cumin , ground
- 1 teaspoon coriander , ground
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 eggplant , small, cubed
- 1 cup broccoli , chopped (optional)
- 1 red pepper , seeded & chopped
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 cup carrots , sliced
- 2 cups vegetable stock
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!
The recipe serves four, but can easily be multiplied to serve more.
The broccoli and red pepper are optional in this recipe. You can use all eggplant if you want. The broccoli adds flavor, the red pepper adds some nice color and of course, both provide added nutritional value.
This curried eggplant recipe is wonderfully tasty but not hot. Add dried red chili flakes if you want to amp up the heat.
A vegetable curry recipe like this one would be a great part of an Indian themed meal, or served it on it’s own with brown rice or quinoa. Add even more protein to your meal by pairing it with Indian lentils and rice.
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