Khira mach

Mild fish curry, very simple. Serve with rice and dal.



To prepare, finely slice the onion and ginger and set aside. Peel the cucumbers and chop into 2cm-thick slices. Cut the fish into large portions - at least 10cm long - and lightly dust with the turmeric.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the coriander seeds and stir for about thirty seconds, then add the sliced onion and ginger.

Lightly brown the onions. Pour in about a third of the coconut milk and stir through. Add the cucumber slices, reduce the heat, cover and simmer.

Keep checking and occasionally stirring the cucumbers until they begin to soften (add a little more coconut milk if the curry starts drying up).

Add the chunks of fish, and turn them over very gently with a fish slice to ensure they are coated. Pour in the rest of the coconut milk, cover and simmer.

Check the fish frequently to see when it is cooked (it will change colour). Don’t let it overcook. Don’t stir it as this will break up the flesh of the fish - instead, lift the pan by the handle and swivel it so that the curry slides in a rotating motion in the pan (careful not to spill).

As soon as it is done, remove from the heat and sprinkle with coriander leaves (tear them off the stems by hand, don’t use a knife).

This will be a moist curry with a lot of sauce.

Variation: flash-fry the fish ahead of time to get crisper fish. (In this case, you won’t need to cook it at the end for hardly any time, just enough to let the flavours seep in.)