Black Pepper and Fish Curry

Lunch for one is a paradox. It’s both troublesome yet simple. I can’t possibly make a bowl of chilli myself, cause the measurements just don’t come in such miniscule amounts and using the entire slow cooker/crock pot to cook that little amount makes no sense at all. Yet cooking for myself means I can throw together some random ingredients and still have a wonderful scrumptious lunch my sisters probably wouldn’t enjoy.

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I whipped this simple lunch for myself the other day. While this curry has a mostly Indian vibe with the ground cumin and turmeric, the massive amounts of capsicums help sweeten up the dish a little and makes it a little Western-ish. Just reduce the amount of chili and spices, and this could actually pass for a stew.

I’m a massive fan of black pepper so I decided to try the same idea out using black pepper in a curry. I love the rounded warmth you get from the pepper – much more subtle than chilli but in some ways even more delicious. However I think I used too much chili this round, cause this curry was way too spicy. My nose was dripping like a spoilt tap. On hindsight that’s probably because I forgot to remove the bird’s eye chili from the curry, and ended up eating bits of it which really heated things up. Do feel free to adapt the recipe to an acceptable level of spiciness!

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Black Pepper and Fish Curry (serves 2)

1 large onion, peeled & chopped
1 bird’s eye chili, sliced and seeds removed
300g fish (I used Mackerel/Batang), cut into chunks
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, optional
1 can chopped tomatoes (400g/14oz)
1 capsicum, chopped into chunky pieces
2 handfuls spinach, optional
4-6 tablespoons natural yogurt, optional

1. Heat a little oil in a medium saucepan. Cook onion covered over a medium low heat until soft, about 3-4 minutes.

2. Add fish, pepper, cumin, turmeric, chili and mustard seeds, if using. Stir to combine.

3. Add the tomatoes and stir to break up the tomatoes a little. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes on a medium heat.

4. Stir and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and the peppers are soft. If you want a thicker curry leave the lid off, if you’re happy with the consistency, leave the lid on.

5. When the fish is cooked, taste for seasoning to see if you need more (or less) heat. Stir in the spinach, if using, and a big dollop of yogurt.

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