If you’ve been keeping a beady eye on the latest fresh food trends, you may notice that fresh turmeric root is starting to become more available. Most of us have grown up with turmeric as that deep yellow powder with an earthy aroma and an ability to stain anything it touches, forever! We all know that there is no substitute for fresh spices, and fresh root turmeric is no different!
It looks like a scrawnier version of ginger, with a darker skin and a bright orange interior. It smells amazing, and has even more power to stain your clothes, so take precautions and wear an apron!
This curry then make the most of my new found access to this wonderful fresh root and matches it with a beautifully fresh fillet of locally caught and landed West Cork Hake. Although this is a well-flavoured curry, it’s mild and aromatic not masking the flavour of the fish. Poaching the hake in the curry sauce also means that the flavour gently infuses and protects ensuring your fish is perfectly soft and flakey!
Ingredients (makes enough curry sauce for 4 portions):
- 1 piece of Hake per person (apx 250g per portion) boned and skin off
- 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp dry curry leaves
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 1 ½ tsp coriander seed
- 6 banana shallots, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli
- 5cm piece of fresh turmeric
- 1 clove of garlic
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 4 fresh tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 x 400g can of coconut milk (full fat)
- 1 tbsp of ground almonds
- Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Sea salt
- Drizzle of chilli oil
- Toasted flaked almonds
- Jasmine rice to serve
- Cook the jasmine rice: 1 cup of rice per person to 1 ½ cups of water. Add salt, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed and the rice is soft. Add more water if needs be.
- While the rice is cooking, take the fenugreek and coriander seeds and black peppercorns and toast gently in a dry pan for just enough time for the oils to activate, but be careful not to burn them. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and crush as fine as you can.
- In a small processor, place the shallots and blitz to a fine chop. Empty out into a bowl and set aside.
- Place the red chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric and fresh tomatoes in the processor and finely chopped together.
- In a large heavy bottom pot on a low – medium heat, add the coconut oil and melt.
- Add the chopped shallots and cook slowly until softened.
- Add in the ground spices and crush in the curry leaves and combine with the shallots. Cook for a couple of minutes, careful not to burn.
- Add in the tomato mix and stir to combine. Cook out for another couple of minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and ground almonds. Taste for seasoning, add salt to taste. Stir to combine then add the hake.
- Turn up the heat slightly, cover and leave the fish to poach gently in the curry sauce. This will take apx 10 – 15 mins depending on the thickness of the fish.
- When the rice is cooked, mix through most of the fresh chopped coriander.
- Plate up the rice, a portion of the hake and a generous amount of the curry sauce.
- Garnish with the toasted flaked almonds, a light drizzle of chilli oil and a final scattering of fresh coriander.