During Easter, the tradition in the Cape is to serve curried or pickled fish. The recipe for Curried Fish in our Cape Winelands Cuisine cookbook has a sauce that contains, among other spices, saffron or turmeric. These spices with their intense colour give the curry a beautiful flavour as well as its characteristic yellow colour. Today’s curry powders usually contain turmeric as part of the mix, which is far less expensive than the saffron that was predominantly used in the old Cape recipes.
Try this easy recipe (page 79 in the book) and serve with freshly-baked bread as well as a glass of our 2016 La Motte Chardonnay.
Curried Fish recipe
Sunflower oil, for frying
1 kg hake, cut into 5 x 200 g portions
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 medium onions, cut into rings
1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
1 Tbsp (15 ml) curry mix (see below)
2 tsp (10 ml) turmeric
1/2 trap (2.5 ml) coriander seeds, toasted
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 large known fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
2 whole allspice
1/4 cup (50 ml) apricot jam
3 cups (750 ml) vinegar
1 cup (250 ml) water
4 orange or bay leaves
heat the oil in a large frying pan. Season the hake with salt and peper and fry until cooked. Set aside.
Place the rest of the ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer together for 25 minutes.
Layer the fish in a glass or ceramic dish (with a lid) and pour the warm sauce over. Let it cool. Cover the dish with the lid and place in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Curry mix for fish
Makes approximately 300 ml
170 g turmeric
280 g coriander seeds
7 g cumin
140 g ground ginger
28 g cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
Mix all the ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.