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Sri Lankan snapper curry with basmati rice and yoghurt

You'll need

50 gm ghee 20 fresh curry leaves, plus extra sprigs, to serve 5 cloves of garlic, sliced 10 (about 300gm) red shallots, finely chopped 2 tsp ground turmeric 1 stick of cinnamon, halved 5 cardamom pods, lightly bruised 50 gm (1/3 cup) Sri Lankan curry powder 1.5 litres fish stock 2 tsp fennel seeds, soaked in water for 10 minutes 1.2kg sweet potato, cut into 1cm pieces 2 375ml tins coconut cream 2½ tbsp vegetable oil 6 (about 200 gm each) snapper fillets, skin on and pin-boned To serve: Steamed basmati rice, plain yoghurt, chutney and pickles, optional


  • 01
  • Heat ghee in a heavy-based saucepan and, when a light haze comes over the pot, add curry leaves, garlic and shallots, and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes until shallots are translucent. Add remaining dry ingredients and cook for 4 minutes, stirring continuously or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Add stock and drained fennel seeds and bring to the boil.
  • 02
  • Add sweet potato and simmer for 10 minutes or until just tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sweet potato to a tray. Bring curry base to the boil, add coconut cream and bring to the boil, then remove from heat. Season to taste with sea salt and ground black pepper.
  • 03
  • Heat oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over high heat, add snapper fillets, skin-side down, pressing to ensure skin is touching pan evenly. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then turn and cook for another 3 minutes until just cooked through.
  • 04
  • To serve, add sweet potato to curry sauce and cook until heated through, spoon rice into shallow bowls and top with snapper and a sprig of curry leaves. Ladle curry sauce into individual small bowls and pass separately. Serve immediately with small bowls of yoghurt, chutney and pickles, if using.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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