The perfect Cape Malay fish curry

By Faeza
24 March 2017


¦ 1kg hake or any other firm fish

¦ Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¦ 45ml (3 tablespoons) oil

¦ 5ml (1 teaspoon) cumin seeds

¦ 5ml (1 teaspoon) fennel seeds

¦ 1 onion, finely chopped

¦ 5ml (1 teaspoon) crushed garlic

¦ 1 chilli, cut in half lengthwise

¦ 5ml (1 teaspoon) cumin powder

¦ 5ml (1 teaspoon) ground coriander

¦ 5ml (1 teaspoon) turmeric powder

¦ 20ml (4 teaspoon) curry powder (chilli

or masala)

¦ 3 medium tomatoes, grated

¦ 5ml (1 teaspoon) tamarind pulpmixed

with 125ml (½ cup) boiling water

¦ 10 curry leaves

¦ 45ml (3 tablespoons) sugar

¦ freshly chopped coriander leaves


Slice fish into bite sized pieces and season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan or wok. Add cumin and fennel seeds. Fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add onion, garlic and chilli, fry until golden brown. Add dry spices and small amounts of water to prevent spices from burning and sticking to the pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tamarind mixture and sugar. Cook for 5 minutes

on low heat. Add curry leaves and cook for 10 minutes. Check the mixture and ensure that

it is not sour. Add more sugar if necessary. Place the fish gently in the saucepan and spoon

sauce over fish, simmer until fish is cooked. Stirring occasionally until fish is cooked through for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle chopped coriander over fish. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve on a bed of cooked rice. The flavour and fragrance of any curry dish improves when eaten the next day