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Fish-&-Tomato-Curry-HughHugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be appearing at this year’s Abergavenny Food Festival to talk about his new book, ‘River Cottage Light & Easy‘; from which Hugh has kindly lent us this recipe.

Fish curry may sound like an undertaking, but it can be fast because the fish itself cooks through in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is create a flavoursome, spicy sauce first, which is easy, as this dish demonstrates.

Serves 3–4

  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1-tablespoon medium curry powder, or paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 300ml tomato passata
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 500g white fish fillets,
  • such as pollack, coley or sustainably caught haddock, skinned
  • Juice of ½ large lime
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Coriander leaves
  • A few black onion (kalonji) seeds (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring regularly, for 8–10 minutes until soft.

Now add the ginger, garlic, curry powder or paste and cinnamon stick, if using, and fry for a minute or two. Add the passata and coconut milk, the sugar, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Stir well and simmer, stirring from time to time, for about 10 minutes until rich and well blended.

Meanwhile, check the fish for pin bones, prising out any you find with tweezers, then cut into large pieces, about 4cm square. Add these to the sauce, bring back to a very gentle simmer and cook for 4–6 minutes until the fish is just cooked through, stirring very carefully a couple of times (you don’t want to break up the fish if you can help it). Remember it will continue to cook after you have taken it off the heat.

Stir in the lime juice, taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve straight away with rice. Finish with a scattering of fresh coriander, and black onion seeds if you like.

RC-Light-and-Easy-cover2Extract taken from River Cottage Light & Easy, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury, £25.00: Hardback Photography © Simon Wheeler

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