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Image / Living / Food & Drink

What to eat tonight: Goan coconut cod curry

by Meg Walker
11th Feb 2021

Embracing fish? Try this pescatarian curry and spice things up tonight.

Fresh fish and rich-tasting coconut take up spices beautifully in this fragrant broth. This recipe has a traditional Goan edge with the additional sour ingredient, sometimes tamarind but in this case vinegar. Eat from a deep bowl fresh with the final flurry of coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime juice.

Goan Coconut Fish Curry
Serves 4

For the curry paste

  • 30g cashew nuts
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • medium bunch of coriander

For the curry

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 160ml coconut cream
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 200g raw peeled prawns
  • 200g cod fillet, skinned, cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • juice of 1 lime


To make the curry paste, toast the cashew nuts in a dry frying pan until just charred, then remove from the heat and put into a blender or food processor with the shallots, chilli, garlic, ginger, vinegar and half the coriander. Blitz to a thick mush, adding a little water until you have a loose, aromatic paste. Scrape into a small bowl.

To make the curry, heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and add the red peppers while the oil warms. Cook for about 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Once the peppers have collapsed, stir through the curry paste and continue to fry gently for a further few minutes. Add the spices and stir again – keep the heat up while they cook for another minute or so.

Add the curry leaves, coconut milk and cream and 100ml cold water. Increase the heat and bring to the boil, before lowering the temperature and simmering for 10-15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook gently for a further 5 minutes.

Finally, add the spinach, prawns and cod to the pan and poach for 2-3 minutes until the fish is just opaque. Garnish with the mustard seeds and the remaining coriander and squeeze over some lime juice to serve.

Extracted from On the Pulse by Georgina Fuggle (Kyle Books, approx €20). Photography by Ali Allen.

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