Sometimes, you can please everyone at the same time!

Poor old February gets such a bad reputation.  Maybe because it’s so often cold and dark and dreary.  And whilst only 28 days it can feel endless.  Personally, I don’t mind it at all as the shoots of daffodils, crocus and snowdrops push their way through the ground and the the promise of an awakened garden calls. The days get longer and hope reigns of new beginnings.

We’ve had a busy week with a trip to Norfolk, meeting up with friends and, finally, planning some time away. It seems so long since we could grab a map and a pin and make a quick decision of where to go! At least The Husband and I can usually agree on this but, sometimes, when I am planning supper, there can be a bit of disagreement! He would always have hot and spicy over anything else whilst I prefer flavoursome to having a burned mouth. This recipe suits both of us – gives me my favourite comfort food of a fish pie and him the comfort of spice!

Curried Fish Pie

  • 1lb potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 400g skinless cod loin (you could add some raw prawns to vary)
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp grated root ginger
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 25g coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 fresh red chilli or a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 200g full-fat coconut milk
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 25g butter
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain well and set aside. Meanwhile, cook the onion in the coconut oil in a large frying pan for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Chop the cod into roughly 4cm chunks and toss with 1⁄2 teaspoon of turmeric, a squeeze of lemon juice and a good pinch of salt in a bowl; set aside. Stir the ginger and garlic into the onions and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cumin, 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and 1⁄2 teaspoon of turmeric, then cook for a further minute. Add half of the coriander to the pan along with the chilli and cook for just 1 minute. Mix a little of the coconut milk with the cornflour in a small bowl, then add to the pan with the rest of the coconut milk and the cherry tomatoes. Simmer for 3 minutes; the sauce should thicken slightly.

For the topping, heat the butter in the saucepan you cooked the potatoes in. Add the remaining turmeric and mustard seeds, plus the smoked paprika and cook for 1 minute. Mix in the potatoes making sure they are coated in the buttery spices. Sprinkle with a little salt and the remaining lemon juice. Using a fork, gently crush the potatoes but don’t mash completely. You want lots of texture to create crunchy bits.

Remove the curry sauce from the heat. Season to taste, then mix in the fish and rest of the coriander. Tip it all into an ovenproof dish and spoon the crushed potatoes on top, spreading them out well. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the topping is golden and crusty.

Curried fish pie with spiced potato topping

You will have noticed that we are only using half a tin of coconut milk for above – so rather than put it in the fridge, forget about it and throw it out a week later, why not make this lovely pudding to complete your supper?

  • 40 pudding rice
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 200ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium pan, combine the rice, coconut milk, milk, 2 tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt; stir well. Set the pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover with a lid and cook gently for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is tender and has thickened. Stir in the vanilla extract. Serve with some fresh fruit and lime or lemon zest.

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