Monkfish curry with bengali aubergines

Aktar Islam serves up meaty monkfish in a creamy curry sauce with spiced aubergine and crunchy chickpea croutons
Monkfish curry with bengali aubergines
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 minutes 15
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the fish curry sauce

  • 125 ml corn oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaf
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 3 Kashmiri chillies
  • 300 g finely chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp ground Kashmiri chillies
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 200 g chopped tinned tomatoes, blitzed
  • 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
  • bellies and bones from 3 large sea bass, from fishmonger
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • chopped coriander
  • squeeze lime juice

For the Bengali aubergine

  • 2 aubergines, finely sliced, lightly salted and squeezed
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • sprinkle turmeric
  • olive oil

For the chickpea croutons

  • 1 tin boiled chickpeas
  • 100 g gram flour
  • 100 g rice flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder

For the monkfish

  • 100 ml corn oil
  • 2 tbsp Madras curry powder
  • 2 baby monkfish fillets
  • knob of butter


1. For the fish curry sauce: heat oil in a pan and add mustard seed, allow to pop then add curry leaf, garlic, and whole Kashmiri chilli. After a couple of minutes add the onion.

2. Cook out slowly until onions are translucent then add garlic and ginger paste, 3/4 teaspoon salt, turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder, ground coriander and curry powder. Add a splash of water and cook the spices out slowly for 3 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes and cook until softened. Mix the tamarind concentrate with a little water and add to the tomatoes with another 300ml of water. Cook slowly until oil separates.

4. Add fish bone and bellies. Followed by coconut milk, pinch of salt and water and simmer slowly for 20 minutes.

5. Sprinkle in chopped coriander, allow to infuse and strain the sauce and set aside.

6. For the Bengali aubergine: heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add onion and cook until soft. Sprinkle in turmeric and shredded aubergine. Mix well, cover and cook through until soft.

7. For the chickpea croutons: drain and wash the chick peas. Combine flour with spices and a teaspoon of salt, then dust the chick with the spiced flour.

8. Deep fry at 180C until crispy shell forms around the chickpea.

9. For the monkfish: mix the curry powder with the oil and infuse at 80?c for 30 minutes.

10. Skin the monkfish tails and wash in salt solution, pat dry and skewer through the middle.

11. Heat a non-stick pan, add 2 tablespoons of the infused oil and start to fry the monkfish on all sides over a moderate heat, then add butter and baste whilst turning.

12. Place in oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for 3-4 minutes, check the fish with a probe thermometer. Once the core is at 50?c, remove from the pan and allow to rest.

13. Remove the skewer and slice at an angle, place on top of aubergine.

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