Easy Curried Fish Stew

The title of this recipe, Easy Curried Fish Stew, does not sound very appetising. However, delighted to report that it tastes wonderful. As a major fan of paella, I really liked this Indian version from the fabulous Mr Oliver. Oh yes. And he gives you a marvellous tip about making low calorie puffy poppadoms…

Easy Curried Fish StewEasy Curried Fish Stew

Ingredients serves 6
6 spring onions
1 fresh red chilli
5cm piece of ginger
olive oil
1 handful of curry leaves
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 level teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
12 large raw shell-on king prawns , from sustainable sources
300 g brown rice
250 g ripe mixed-colour cherry tomatoes
1 x 400 g tin of light coconut milk
6 x 100 g white fish fillets , such as bream or haddock, skin on, scaled and pin-boned, from sustainable sources
1 lemon
12 uncooked poppadoms

How to prepare
Trim the spring onions and finely slice with the chilli, then peel and matchstick the ginger. Put a 25cm shallow casserole pan on a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil, the spring onions, chilli, ginger, curry leaves and all the spices. Stir and fry for 5 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Meanwhile, remove the prawn heads and stir them into the pan as you go for serious added flavour, then add the rice and 1.2 litres of boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes while you peel the rest of the prawns (I leave the tails on), then use a small sharp knife to lightly score down the backs and devein them, which will mean they butterfly as they cook. Keep in the fridge until needed.

Halve and add the tomatoes to the pan, then cover with the coconut milk. Simmer for 20 minutes, then cut the fish in half across the middle and place in the pan for a further 10 minutes, or until the fish and rice are cooked through, adding the prawns for the last 5 minutes. Pick out the prawn heads, squeeze out all the lovely juices, then discard, and loosen the stew with a little boiling water, if needed. Have a taste, and season to perfection with sea salt, black pepper and lemon juice.

One-by-one, puff up your dry poppadoms in the microwave for around 30 seconds each and serve with the stew.