Our next stop on the fragrant Sri Lankan curry leaf trail: Jasmine’s Sri Lankan Fish Curry. Hot, sweet, sour – this curry has one of my favourite taste combinations. The tomato base is mellowed by adding just the right amount of coconut milk, the one that creates a balance of flavour, rather than overpowering the dish with the taste of coconut. (As much as I love coconut, Jasmine’s technique of using coconut as a supporting flavour was a revelation, and gave a new dimension to my coconut appreciation!) As ever, a fragrance of curry leaves envelopes the dish (and your kitchen), which I love.
Delicious and very quick to make, this is another of Jasmine’s recipes, and it’s another winner. You know now why I fell in love with Sri Lankan food!
The photo below was also taken by my friend A, while I was cooking.
Sri Lankan Fish Curry – Meen
PREPARATION TIME: about 10 – 15 min (mainly to skin the fish)
COOKING TIME: 10 – 15 min
CUISINE: Sri Lankan
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced or chopped
a handful of curry leaves
a pinch of salt
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
100 g tomato puree
1/2 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
1 dsp Sri Lankan chilli powder (or less if you prefer less heat)
700 g salmon, skinned and chopped into
1/2 cup coconut milk
a few pieces of pandan leaf, if you have it (optional)
1. Fry the onion together with curry leaves and a pinch of salt, just enough to soften it.
2. Add garlic, fenugreek and tomato paste, and cook for a few minutes until the smell of the tomato paste has mellowed, and lost its raw taste.
3. Add the chilli powder to the tomato mixture, and cook through for a few minutes.
4. Stir in the coconut milk. (If you are cooking this in advance, you can stop at this point and continue later, adding the fish and cooking it before serving. )
5. Add the salmon pieces and cook on medium low or low heat until they’re cooked through. It’s best to go slowly here, taking care not to overcook the fish. Add the pandan leaf if you have some (which I usually don’t), and adjust the salt to taste.
Serve with rice, or as a part of a delicious Sri Lankan fish feast:
- Salmon curry
- Fish cutlets
- Varar (leeks and cabbage with coconut)
- Dhal (as above)
- Pineapple curry
More Sri Lankan Food at Maninas:
The aroma of curry leaves: Sri Lankan cooking (Introduction)
Sri Lankan spices (including recipes for Sri Lankan garam masala, curry powder and more!)