Spring Dining

With the imminent arrival of Spring my mind turns to outdoor lunches, early candle lit outdoor dinners, revelling in the balmy, gently scented air, tables decorated in light happy colours, jars filled with heady scented Jasmine and of course, delicious food and chilled wine to compliment it.

My favourite lunch/early dinner dish is a curry I gleaned somewhere off the internet, I have tried to find it’s source but to no avail – apologies for that.

Tanzanian Fish Curry

Ingredients (serves three to four)

600g white fish fillets (eg kingklip, kabeljou or hake), cut into bite-size chunks
1 onion, diced
2 cups (when raw) chopped spinach, cooked till softish but still bright green
1 tablespoon fresh, julienned ginger and 1 tablespoon ginger left chunkier
1 teaspoon freshly chopped garlic
1 cup spiced tomato sauce (bought already spiced or plain canned tomato mixed with a little cumin, garlic, chilli and salt)
handful salted skinned peanuts
teaspoon each of paprika, curry powder, turmeric and black pepper
chopped coriander leaves and stems
dash of harissa paste
½ cup coconut milk
2 dessertspoons smooth peanut butter
fish stock, water or extra coconut milk for liquid (between 60ml and 125ml)
handful dried mango strips sliced very finely (just a few strips per serving)
whole coriander sprigs

Method

  • Fry onion gently in vegetable or olive oil till soft.
  • Add julienned ginger and garlic.
  • Add tomato mix, peanuts, all dry spices and half the coconut milk.
  • Add half the peanut butter and the remaining coconut milk.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Add harissa paste, extra ginger, chopped coriander and salt to taste.
  • Stir in cubed fish fillets (sprinkled with a little salt).
  • Add remaining tomato mix and coconut milk, and stock if using (or water or coconut milk), to get a creamy sauce with enough liquid for the fish to simmer in.
  • Cook on medium-low heat just until pieces are firm and opaque through, and flesh parts easily when ’forked’. Keep checking, and don’t cook beyond this point.
  • If the sauce has thickened up too much during fish cooking, add water or stock
  • Dish up in individual bowls and top with mango strips and coriander sprigs.
  • Serve with plain steamed basmati rice.

I like to serve each person with a bowl of curry and a bowl of rice and a pasta type bowl so they can serve themselves as they go along. I know –  heaps of washing up –  but it adds to the congeniality of the meal.

For desert, platters of sliced fresh fruit or fruit skewers.

Bon Appetit

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