Fish Butter Curry with Cucumber and Lime Salsa Recipe

A wonderfully rich fish curry with coconut cream, butter and tomatoes.  Serve with basmati rice or naan bread and chutneys.

Serves 4

Prep 20 mins / Cooking 70 mins


1¼ tsp ground ginger
½ tbsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp ground coriander
8 cardamom pods, shells discarded and seeds removed and crushed in a mortar
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tbsp smoked paprika
⅛th tsp ground cinnamon
450g hake (or other firm white fish), skinned, boned and cut into 5cm pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
350g small new potatoes, halved if large, skin on
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2-3 banana shallots, finely chopped
2 small green chillies, finely chopped (deseeded, if you prefer less heat)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
300g cherry tomatoes
1½ tbsp tomato paste
220g coconut cream, plus 1 tbsp to serve
500ml fish stock

For the salsa
½ cucumber, cut into 1cm dice
1 small green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1-2 spring onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp lime juice
1½ tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil


1.  Put the first seven ingredients in a large, high-sided pan on a medium-high heat, and toast for a minute, until fragrant. Put the fish in a bowl with one and a half teaspoons of the spice blend, the olive oil and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, gently toss to coat, then leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

2.  Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through but still holding their shape, then drain.

3. Return the saute pan to a medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of butter and, once bubbling, fry the fish in two or three batches, so as not to overcrowd the pan, for two minutes a side, until golden brown. Return to the bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving the butter and any released liquid in the pan. Turn the heat to low, add another tablespoon of butter, the shallots and chillies, and fry gently for six to eight minutes, until the onions are soft and golden. Add the garlic, cook for two minutes, stirring often, then stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and the remaining butter and spice mix. Add the coconut cream, stock, potatoes and half a teaspoon of salt, mix again, and simmer for 25 minutes, until thick and reduced. Meanwhile, mix all the salsa ingredients with a good pinch of salt.

4. Return the fish to the curry pan, cover and cook for four minutes, until heated through. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of coconut cream over the top, then serve in the pan with the salsa spooned inside the pan or on the side.

Serve with basmati rice or naan bread and chutneys.

Recipe credit: Yotam Ottolenghi, Feast, The Guardian, 2018