Selina shares a beautiful and easy to prepare curry that’s highly popular in Mauritius. Discover how to make Cari Poisson - fish and aubergine curry.
People always ask me what is Mauritian food? Are the curries similar to Indian style curries? Well yes they have their similarities and difference like those from different regions, Mauritian curries are fragrant, light dishes using thyme, fresh coriander, as well as heady spices of cinnamon, coriander, cumin and turmeric.
A melange of historical influences from Indian influences through our cuisine showcases in this dish I have chosen to share for National Curry Week. Celebrating over 200 years of Curries and the diverse international cuisine in Britain during this period everyone is encouraged to cook up a good curry at home or simply go out to feast on one whilst helping raising money for charity.
This recipe is shared amongst many family dinners in Mauritius, the traditional fish and aubergine curry or Cari Poisson as its called. In true fashion it is eaten with chutneys, salad, faratas or rice and pickles. The fish must be fresh, steaks or fillets work well using white fish to achieve best results.
I never used to enjoy eating Fish curries when I was younger, but since cooking local dishes from my Mauritian heritage this is slowly up scaling on the list of favourites from the Island. It tastes approximately 30 - 45 to make from start to finish, feeding 4 people and is well worth the effort!
Cari Poisson - Fish and Aubergine Curry
4 Fish fillets or Steaks (White fish, cleaned and descaled)
1 aubergine, cut into strips or batons
1 medium onion sliced
1 heaped tsp ginger & garlic paste
1 tablespoon thyme fresh or dried leaves
6 curry leaves, chopped finely
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons curry powder (Mauritian available in specialist stores or mild curry powder)
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander leaves
2 tablepoon finely chopped spring onion
Vegetable Oil to Fry the Fish & Cooking
3 tbsp Cornflour (sprinkle on fish for frying)
Clean, scale and cut fish into slices or steaks and wash thoroughly (You can get this step done in your fishmonger )
Pat fish dry, season with salt and pepper then coat in your corn flour evenly, fry in a pan with vegetable oil on medium heat till they turn to a golden brown colour.
Drain the fried fish slices on a paper towel to remove all the excess oil and put aside.
Season the aubergine with some salt and pepper then fry in the same oil, drain the fried aubergine on a paper towel and put aside.
In the same pan, add more oil if needed and on a medium heat add in your sliced onions, thyme leaves, curry leaves and stir fry for 2 minutes, then add in the garlic and ginger paste, give it a stir.
Mix the curry powder, tumeric, cinnamon, cumin and coriander with a little warm water so that it forms a paste and add to the pan and stir well
Add the chopped tomatoes in and 50ml of water to start cooking the sauce, cover and cook on medium heat till tomatoes are done (progressively add 100ml of water in intervals if the sauce starts to dry out) at this stage taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.
The sauce should be creamy in texture, add in the fried fish with the aubergine and add warm water to preferred consistency if needed, then let is simmer for a few minutes, take care not to move the fish around too much or it will break.
Turn off the flame and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with coriander leaves and spring onions and serve with basmati rice, faratas and pickles or chutneys the Mauritian way!
Inspired? For more delicious curry recipes visit Great British Chefs