My recent travels in Asia have inspired an interest in cooking curries at home during these cold winter months.  One of our favourites is a Thai Fish Curry with Coconut and Turmeric.  It’s quick to prepare, easy to make and absolutely delicious!  Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients for 4 servings                                            Ingredients for Curry Paste

500ml coconut milk                                                         6 dried long red chillies, soaked and chopped
250ml chicken or vegetable stock                             3 or 4 small dried red chillies, soaked and chopped
2 stalks of lemongrass, bruised                                  pinch of salt
white sugar                                                                        2 or 3 bird’s eye chillies
4 tbsp tamarind water                                                   50g lemongrass, chopped
4 tbsp fish sauce                                                               4 tbsp red shallots, chopped
4 tbsp curry paste                                                            1 tbsp red turmeric, chopped
200g kingklip fillets                                                          1 tbsp Thai shrimp paste
120ml coconut cream
Handful of spinach, torn
5 dried kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded


To make the curry paste in a blender:
Put all ingredients in the blender with a dash of water.  Blend on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes.
To make the curry paste in a mortar:
Pound each ingredient as listed in the mortar, reducing to each one to a pulp before adding the next ingredient.  Stir in the shrimp paste.  Extra paste can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks.

To make the tamarind water:
Use about 30g of tamarind and 125ml of hot water.  Put the tamarind piece in a bowl, pour over hot water and leave to soak for 15 minutes.  Squeeze and mash the softened pulp with your fingers, loosening the fibres and seeds.  Strain the water through a sieve and discard the solids.  Extra tamarind water can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks.

To make the curry:
1. Put coconut milk, stock and lemongrass in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Add a little sugar, the tamarind water and fish sauce.
3. Stir in 4 tbsp of the curry paste and simmer for 1 minute.
4. Add the fish fillets and continue to simmer until it is nearly cooked.
5.  Add the spinach.
6.  When the fish is cooked, check the seasoning and add the coconut cream.
7. Serve sprinkled with the fine shreds of kaffir lime leaves

Enjoy this curry with a glass of Avondale’s recently launch 2012 Camissa!