One of the star ingredients in this dish is crisp fried onion, which can be bought from asian food stores, or easily prepared at home. As well, dried spices and sour tamarind are used to nicely balance the creamy, nutty flavours of this dish.
50 g (1 ¾ oz/ 1/3 cup) sesame seeds
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
40 g (1 ½ oz/½ cup) crisp fried onion
5 cm (2 in) piece, chopped ginger
2 cloves, chopped garlic
3 tablespoons tamarind puré e
1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon roasted peanuts
8, plus extra, to serve curry leaves
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz), cut into 2 cm (¾ in) cubes skinless, firm white fish fillets
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Put the sesame seeds in a heavy-based frying pan, over medium heat, and stir until golden. Add the cayenne pepper, turmeric, coconut, ground coriander and ground cumin and stir for a further minute, or until aromatic. Set aside to cool.
2. Put the fried onions, ginger, garlic, tamarind, 1 teaspoon salt, peanut butter, roasted peanuts, sesame spice mix and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) hot water in a food processor and process until mixture reaches a smooth, thick consistency.
3. Put the sauce and curry leaves into a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, then add the fish in a single layer. Simmer, covered, for a further 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through. Gently stir through the lemon juice, and season well to taste. Garnish with curry leaves and serve.