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Malaysian Fish Curry With Tomato And Okra

This recipe would work equally well with some small bass or even gurnard, too.


  • 4 v 300g prepared mackerel

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 250g onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 quantity Fish curry paste

  • 24 curry leaves (about 2 sprigs)

  • 1 v 250g aubergine

  • 400ml coconut milk

  • 2 red and 2 green medium-hot chillies, cut on the diagonal into 1cm-thick slices

  • 175g okra

  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges

  • 1 quantity Tamarind water

  • Leaves from a small bunch of coriander


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas Mark 6. Sprinkle the fish with salt inside and out and set aside for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, sprinkle with salt and fry until it begins to brown.

  • 2.

    Lower the heat, add the curry paste and curry leaves and continue to fry gently for another 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, slice the aubergine lengthways

  • 3.

    Into 4 wedges, then each wedge across into slices 1cm thick.

  • 4.

    Add the coconut milk, 500ml water, chillies, okra, aubergine, tomatoes, tamarind water and 2 teaspoons salt and simmer for 15 minutes.

  • 5.

    Put the mackerel side by side in a deep roasting tin in which they fit quite snugly. Pour over the curry sauce (it should almost cover the fish), cover tightly with foil and transfer to the oven.

  • 6.

    Bake for 30–35 minutes, until the fish are cooked through. Remove, season to taste with more salt if necessary, and garnish with a sprinkling of coriander leaves.

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