Fish curries don’t seem to be as popular as chicken, lamb or vegetable curries. It’s too bad, because fish curries are really good. This curry uses both fish and shrimp, which work very well together…friendly creatures of the sea, swimming together in a nice tomato-based curry sauce. This is a rather simple curry. Don’t fret over what you may think of as a long list of ingredients…it’s really not that difficult. We’re basically looking at vegetables, sautéed in ghee (which is clarified butter, by a different name) or oil, spices and broth are added and finally the fish, shrimp and peas are simmered in the sauce. I don’t over-season this curry, as seafood is more delicate than say, lamb, and you want to taste the fish, not just the spices in the curry. You can also use coconut milk instead of the broth and wine, but I find it can be a bit too heavy. I love coconut milk and if this only includes shrimp, then I would use the coconut milk, but alas, this time I used corvina, which is a relatively firm whitefish. Feel free to use other fish (cod, tilapia, sole, halibut, etc.); you may have to adjust cooking times depending on the thickness of the fish chosen. I don’t use salmon, as I don’t think it lends itself to this flavor profile, but feel free. You may love it. You can tell me, in the comment section, that I’m crazy and it’s delicious!
I’ve been grating tomato recently, when I need tomato pulp. I use a medium grater. Start grating at the blossom end (the bottom) and grate until only the skin is left, with little or no pulp attached. This is what you do when you make Catalan Tomato Bread. To prepare, sauté the onions, garlic and peppers, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to wilt, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the grated tomato and tomato paste. Add the broth, wine and spices and simmer for a few minutes; the mixture should be slightly soupy. Gently slide the fish fillet in the sauce and spoon some of the sauce over the fish. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then gently turn the fish, and spoon sauce over again. At this point, add the frozen peas and shrimp; gently stir into the sauce. Simmer until the shrimp is cooked. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. I spoon this loveliness over rice, sprinkle with both the mint and cilantro and a nice piece of naan on the side (sorry this picture is a tad out of focus).
Fish & Shrimp in Tomato Curry Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil or ghee
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 4-6 cloves garlic, put through a press or grated
- 1 tomato, grated (see NOTE)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth or water
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 3/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 3/4 pound whitefish (I use corvina or tilapia)
- 1/2 pound fresh cleaned shrimp, tail removed
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Shredded fresh mint leaves, for service
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for service
- Basmati or Jasmine rice, for service
Heat the oil, in a heavy skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and peppers. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to wilt, about 4-5 minutes. Add the grated tomato and tomato paste; stir until combined. Add the broth, wine and spices; stir and simmer for about 3-4 minutes. You want the mixture to be slightly soupy. Gently place the fish filet in the sauce, spooning some of the sauce over the fillet. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Gently turn the fish, and spoon sauce over again. Add the frozen peas and shrimp; gently stir into the sauce. Simmer for about 6 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked. Remove from the heat and serve immediately, over rice. Sprinkle with both the mint and cilantro. Serve with naan.
NOTE: Grate the tomato using a medium grater. When you grate a tomato, start grating at the blossom end (the bottom). Grate until you only have the skin left, with little or no pulp attached. Use any whitefish—cod, tilapia, sole, halibut all work very well. Cod can be a bit difficult to handle, as it isn’t a firm fish.
Fish & Shrimp in Tomato Curry Sauce Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.
The spices are more subtle than the amount I would normally use for a chicken or lamb curry. Also, if you aren’t fond of some of these strong spices, like cumin and coriander (The Spicy Honey isn’t spicy, when it comes to curries!), this will work for you. And don’t omit the mint. Just be judicious, as you don’t want to be eating mouthwash-strength mint with your curry!