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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Episode 1 - Sri Lankan Fish Curry

Jamie Ward

Sri Lankan Fish Curry with Coconut Sambal and Rice

Serves 4



1 whole coconut, broken open and flesh scraped

1 tsp dried maldive fish flakes, finely chopped

80ml coconut cream

juice 2 limes

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 small green chillis, finely chopped


Fish Curry

1 tbsp corriander seeds, toasted

1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted

1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted

4 cardamon pods

6 whole Cloves

1 x tsp ground chilli powder

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 brown onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

50g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp dried curry leaves

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

4 pandan leaves

1 x cinnamon stick

1 tbsp tamarind paste

2 x 400g tins coconut milk

4 x 150g steaks Spanish Mackerel, skin on and cut into 3cm square pieces, bones removed

1 tbsp ground turmeric

salt, to taste


Fragrant rice

2 cups Basmati rice

4 wholes cloves

4 cardamon pods

1 cinnamon stick

1 tbsp curry leaves


To serve

1 x banana leaf



  • To make the sambal, place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • To make the curry powder for the fish curry, grind corriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cardamon pods, cloves, and ground chilli powder to a fine powder and set aside.
  • To make the curry, place 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, pandan leaves and cinnamon stick. Cook until translucent. Add reserved curry powder and dry roast for 2 minutes. Add tamarind paste and coconut milk, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes on low. Season with salt.
  • Meanwhile, coat fish in ground turmeric.
  • Place remaining tablespoon vegetable oil in frypan and set over high heat. Add turmeric coated fish pieces and cook until lightly golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.
  • Add fried fish pieces to the curry sauce and cook on very low heat until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, keeping warm.
  • To make the fragrant rice, boil rice in water for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer rice to a steamer. Add spices and steam, covered for 15 minutes. Set aside.
  • To serve, place a banana leaf on a serving platter. Add a bowl of fish curry, a bowl of sambal, a mound of rice and some pappadams.