Sour, sweet and deeply savoury Tamarind is a brilliant ingredient used widely in Indian cooking, it’s often used in chutneys, called amli, and used to fill pani puri or drizzled over the top of crunchy bhel puri. It also works really well to add something different to curry, and it goes really well with delicate, creamy fish.
This is a simple recipe with some tamarind stirred in towards the end of cooking. I used a tamarind paste which I bought in Waitrose, but I found it wasn’t as strong as the tamarind you can buy in blocks in Indian supermarkets, so if you use block tamarind halve the amount. I used haddock, any white fish will be fine, and salmon would also be lovely.
Tamarind Fish Curry
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced or minced
2cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp of cumin seed
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
300ml of passata, or blended up canned plum tomatoes
1 large fillet of haddock, approx 300g, cut in to 3cm chunks
2 tsp of supermarket Tamarind paste, or 1 tsp if you are making the paste from a block
handful of fresh coriander
In a large, wide saucepan, fry the onion in some vegetable oil til soft, then add in your garlic, ginger and chilli. Fry for a minute and then add in the spices.
Pour in the tomatoes and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes to reduce the sauce and allow the flavours to come together.
Bring the heat down to low-medium, stir in your tamarind and then add in the fish carefully. Cook gently to ensure the fish doesn’t break up. Turn after 2 minutes, and then keep cooking til the fish is done. Sprinkle over the coriander.
Serve with basmati rice and natural yogurt.
Vegetarian version: If you’re observant you’ll see that there are some chunks of paneer in there too. I made a vegetarian version for the Mr with paneer, which was a perfect substitute.