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Madras Curry with rich tomato tamarind masala

The original recipe is for a fish version, great with snapper or any other firm white fish. Today I swapped the fish for chicken.  Would probably work, with most proteins though.. This is a tasty, quick and easy winter warmer. Waiting for the rice cooker is the longest part.

Madras Fish Curry with spicy tamarind tomato masala

Serves 4-6

Cook time 20-30 minutes


4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely crushed

30 fresh curry leaves

2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground turmeric

400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes

100ml/3½fl oz tamarind liquid

2 green chillies, each sliced lengthways into 6 pieces, with seeds

1 tsp salt

700g/1lb 9oz snapper fillets, cut into 5cm/2in chunks

boiled basmati rice, to serve


1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or karahi over a medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds, then stir in the onion and garlic and fry gently for about 10 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden-brown.

2. Add the curry leaves, chilli powder, coriander and turmeric and fry for two minutes, then stir in the tomatoes, tamarind liquid, green chillies and salt and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until rich and reduced. Add the fish, cook for a further five minutes or until just cooked through, and serve with plain rice.

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