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Escott Fish Curry

A tangy, creamy fish curry, very simple to make and, due to the need for simmering at the end, it is a good one to prepare in advance and then simmer immediately prior to serving fresh on the spot.

"A recipe my brother Glen invented in the bush at Escott, at the base of Gulf of Carpentaria.  He says: It was originally with red claw yabbies but fish is good too. One of the rare occasions when I wrote down the ingredients, we had hardly anything and it turned out boooootiful. The hard bit is not adding more ingredients - you may think it needs more but it really doesn't.  Just make sure you put enough salt in to balance the sugar. "– Kirsty Brook.
Pictured: Escott Fish Curry

Olive oil
2 heaped tbsp Pataks Mild curry paste (use Korma if can't find Mild)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 whole jewfish fillet (500g), diced into 1 inch cubes
¼ tsp asafoetida powder*
½ can coconut cream
1 can coconut milk
1 heaped tbsp raw sugar
Salt, a good pinch
1 Lime
1 unripe mango (as side dish, diced)

*asafoetida powder can be found at Asian grocers in a small round yellow plastic container, or Herbie’s Spices - its good stuff! See Tastetip below for more information.
Fry the paste in olive oil for a few minutes, stirring.  Stir in the ground coriander and garam masala, add fish and fry lightly for 2 minutes, browning on all sides.  Add asafoetida powder, coconut cream and milk, sugar, salt and juice from half the lime.  Place lid and simmer for ½ hour.

Serve on a bed of rice with mango on the side and squeezed lime juice over the top.

For perfect rice - The absorption method gives the best result. It's best to avoid the 'easy-cook' basmati rice as it doesn't contain the starch that gives the lovely fluffy texture, flavour and pure white colour when cooked. However, if that's all you can get it's not necessary to rinse it in water before cooking.

450g/1lb basmati rice
600ml/1 pint water

To make sure you get lovely fluffy rice, wash it in several changes of cold water, then leave to soak for about 30 minutes in fresh cold water. 
Drain the rice and put into a medium saucepan. Add the water and salt, bring to the boil and cover with a tight-fitting lid. If the lid isn't very tight, cover the pan with aluminium foil before putting the lid on top. Turn the heat to low and leave to cook for 10 minutes before turning off the heat. Don't lift off the lid; just leave the rice to continue cooking in the pan for about 5 minutes until you're ready to serve. The rice should have absorbed all the water and will just need fluffing up with a fork.

Serves 4

TasteTip – Basmati rice has the lowest G.I (Glycemic Index) rating of all rice varieties. It is a long-grain rice from India, considered to be one of the best-quality white rices. It has a distinctive aroma and, when cooked, each grain should remain separate, giving a light, fluffy result.

Asafoetida powder is an extremely pungent spice extracted from a plant of the giant fennel family, asafoetida is frequently used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. In fact, asafoetida's strong, garlicky smell can be quite off-putting (the Germans call it Teufelsdreck - 'devil's dung'!). But if you can overcome the smell, which disappears in the cooking process, the smallest amount of it transforms vegetable dishes, meat stews and fish. Buy it in powdered form rather than chunks, which are hard to break down.

Pictured: Asafoetida Powder