Sea Bass and Prawn Moilee

Some people have a weakness for chocolates, others for cakes, mine is for seafood and a good Moilee is right there at the top of my list.

Moilee, Curry, recipe, fish, seafood
Picture by Colin Hampden-White
A Moilee is a slightly sweet curry due its coconut milk base. It has a lot of sauce which get absorbed by the steamed rice. It's fragrant and aromatic, thanks the cardamom, cloves and curry leaves, the little kick is provided by the green chilli.

I first fell for this dish in Kerala. It was a happy surprise to see it again in Malaysia but, in my opinion, the best ones are in Singapore. Which means that I had to share it with you since my last post was about Singapore: Must Visit

There is another reason for sharing now. The day I came back from SE Asia, I went back to work on writing and editing the Greenwich Visitor food pages. I love working for the local paper and our little corner of London is getting really food orientated so there is always something exciting to talk about.

This month, it was the opening of the restored Greenwich market. The old market acquired a new roof and flooring. The layout is slightly different allowing visitors to move with more ease. The food court is more defined. 

With the new food court arrived a new cookbook : Greenwich Market Cook Book collated by local resident, Guardian food columnist Rebecca Seal, It's a snapshot of the various stalls, the stallholders stories, and some cracking recipes.

Most require special ingredients but it's worth investing because if you like a specific type of cuisine, you adopt it. For example in the Moilee recipe, you'll need curry leaves, they are not very expensive, they keep for a long time and are used in many curries. 

Sea Bass and Prawn Moilee
reproduced with permission
Serves 2
200g raw prawns (cleaned and deveined)
300g sea bass fillets (cut into generous strips)
3⁄4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1⁄2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons coconut oil
3 cloves
4 green cardamom pods
2.5cm cinnamon stick
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced
10–12 curry leaves
50ml coconut milk
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 green chillies (if you like your food spicy, chop the chillies before adding, if not, keep whole)


  1. Toss the prawns and sea bass in a bowl with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the turmeric, 1⁄4 teaspoon of the grated ginger and the chilli powder. Leave for around 15 minutes for the flavours to absorb and mingle.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a wide, heavy pan over a low heat. When it’s hot, throw in the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and toast for 2 minutes when they should smell fragrant.
  3. Turn the heat up a bit and add the remaining grated ginger, the garlic, onion and curry leaves. Cook, stirring for another 3 minutes until the onion has started to soften, then add the remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon of turmeric, half of the coconut milk and about 1⁄4 teaspoon salt.
  4. Stir well to mix, then put the sliced tomato in and bring the pan to a gentle boil. Add the prawns and fish and cook until just opaque – about 5 or 6 minutes. Add the rest of the coconut milk and bring to a gentle boil, then stir in the lemon juice and green chillies.

Serve immediately.

I like this recipe so much that I'm sharing it with Searching for Spice. There is always enough sauce to make another curry the next day
Cook Once Eat Twice

#InheritanceRecipes is often about nostalgia so I wanted to add a recipe which I will definitely pass on.

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