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Traditional Goan prawn and fish curry with pilau rice

Recipe by Edgar Rodrigues. Head Chef at The Cottage Hotel in Hope Cove, Devon


Ingredients for the curry

  • 4 large king prawns
  • 4 thick slices of monk fish
  • 4 thick slices of red snapper steak
  • 4 green chillies or peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cups grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 8 dried red chillies or peppers, chopped
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • ½ piece of ginger
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 3 cups warm water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the pilau rice

  • 2 cardamom seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 100g butter
  • 2 cups rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ medium onion, sliced


To prepare the fish and curry sauce:

  1. Clean the fish, add salt and pepper, chillies or peppers and onion, and keep to one side.
  2. Combine the remainder of the ingredients, except the tamarind pulp, and divide into two lots.
  3. Put each lot into a food blender in turn, then extract the spiced coconut milk by putting it through a fine sieve. Add half a cup of warm water to the coconut milk.
  4. Put the coconut milk in a deep pan on a medium heat and stir. Cook for 30 minutes, until the sauce becomes thick.
  5. Add the fish and the tamarind pulp.
  6. Once the curry is reduced by half, add the king prawns.

To prepare the pilau rice:

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly.
  2. In a thick-bottomed pan, heat the butter on a medium flame.
  3. Sauté the onion until golden brown, add the spices and stir for two minutes.
  4. Add the rice and fry for one minute.
  5. Add the stock and salt to taste.
  6. Put the lid on the pan and on a low flame, let the rice simmer for 10-15 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the pilau is light and fluffy.

To assemble:

  1. For each plate, put a quarter of the pilau rice in a cup and press it down gently. Turn it onto the plate and gently remove the cup.
  2. Ladle some fish curry next to the rice and garnish with fresh coriander.

Recipe by Edgar Rodrigues

Taste Buds chef: Jody Spencer

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The MayJune 2020 issue of Taste Buds is out now