This is the kind of casual cooking that gets me through the working week. Easy to shop for – most of the ingredients come from the pantry – undemanding to cook, cozy to eat. One pan, too, which always makes life easier. Take it at your own pace: use ripe, fresh tomatoes or canned, as you please, salmon or any other firm-fleshed fish you like, coconut milk or a chunk of solid creamed coconut, and crank the chillies up or down to suit your taste.
If you make it a step at a time, as I outline below, you’ll find that you have more than enough time to prep the next step along the way, which adds to its comfortable, laidback vibe.
If you’re in the mood for an authentically Thai-style fish curry, an altogether more operatic fish curry than this, take a look at my version of choo chee fish.
Mild salmon curry
1 teaspoon peanut oil
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 ripe tomatoes
2 teaspoons tamarind puree
300g (10 oz) salmon fillet, skin off
125ml (½ cup) coconut milk
Chop the tomatoes roughly and add them, along with any of their stray juices, to the pan. (Alternatively, use ½ can chopped tomatoes.) Cook for a few minutes until they are soft.
Stir in the tamarind paste and cook for a minute or two, just while you cut up the salmon.
Cut the salmon into thick cubes, season lightly with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes,
Stir in the coconut milk and let everything simmer together for 5 minutes before spooning over waiting bowls of rice.