Sri Lankan fish curry with brown rice and crispy kale

This recipe is a bowl of goodness, with delicious white fish and sensational spices bundled on fluffy brown rice. This dish really relies on quality spices from the cardamom to fenugreek, along with fresh herbs which make a world of difference.

f you can't source hake, you can swap for cod loin or monkfish which will both work well. I like to add a handful of wild rice to the pan when cooking the brown rice, which gives an extra crunch and all the it's amazing health benefits.


  • 500 g hake fillets or cod loin from sustainable sources

  • 1 tsp of ground turmeric

  • 2 limes

  • 200 g brown rice

  • handful of wild rice (optional)

  • 1 x 400 ml tin of coconut milk

  • olive oil

  • 1 small fresh red chili

  • 150g kale or cavolo nero, stalks removed and roughly chopped


  • 2 onions

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 5cm piece of ginger

  • 2 fresh green chillies

  • 5 ripe medium tomatoes, on the vine

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes

  • groundnut oil

  • 3 cardamom pods

  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 knob of tamarind paste or 1 teaspoon tamarind syrup

  • 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped


  1. Slice the fish into large chunks and pop in a non-reactive bowl (the turmeric will stain), along with the turmeric, lime zest and juice and a large pinch of sea salt.

  2. Mix together to coat the fish, then leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

  3. Add the rice to a pan with 100ml of the coconut milk and 300ml of salted water, then cook according to the packet instructions.

  4. To make your sauce, peel and finely slice the onions and garlic, peel and finely chop the ginger, then slice the chillies. Roughly chop the tomatoes, keeping them separate.

  5. Heat a large casserole pan over a medium–high heat and add a splash of oil, the onion, ginger, garlic, chillies. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the onion is softened and coloured.

  6. Smash the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar, then stir them into the pan along with the mustard seeds, cumin, fenugreek and turmeric. Fry for 1 minute.

  7. Stir in the chopped tomatoes (tin and fresh), tamarind paste or syrup, the remaining 300ml of coconut milk and 100ml of water, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to break down and the sauce reduces.

  8. Meanwhile heat a large wok on a high heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once piping hot add the finely sliced red chili and fry for 1 minute. Add the kale and fry for 3-4 minutes until light in colour and crispy. Set aside for serving.

  9. Add the fish to the sauce and simmer until the fish is cooked through and opaque. Remove and discard the cardamom pods, then serve with the rice and kale on the side, all topped with fresh coriander.

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