"This is one of the best rice dishes I think I’ve had. The flavour from the coconut, chilli and curry leaves is wonderful, and with the fish curry they complement each other so well," says chef Barry Vera.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (25 votes)


  • 4 x 200 g white fish fillets
  • vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
  • cucumber and red onion salad, tomato chutney, to serve

Spice paste

  • 5 red chillis, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 dessertspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic gloves, grated
  • 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 dessertspoons olive oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 2 hours

Place all the spice ingredients into a mortar and pound with a pestle to form a paste.

Coat all around the fish in paste and marinate for at least 2 hours.

Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan and cook fish for 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the fish. The spices will go dark in colour once fried.

Serve immediately with a good fresh cucumber and red onion salad.