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Southern Indian rice & seafood soup

This soup was first cooked for me by Das, my friend who runs the southern Indian restaurants in London called Rasa. I've based mine around his original recipe, and what's fantastic about it is that it's so easy to make. It only takes about 30 minutes, and the other great thing is that the ingredients are not particularly expensive, so it's economical. However, if you want to spend a little more and make it a bit luxurious using something like crab, then you can. The soup is just as good with frozen prawns and flaky white fish though. Use any selection of fish that you fancy – I like to use a good mixture of fresh-looking fish (John Dory, cod, haddock or red mullet all work well). Get it skinned and filleted, then all you have to do is chop it up. If you can find any coconut oil, use that, otherwise vegetable and sunflower oil are fine to use. This really is one of my favourite soups. It's not too hot, but as you eat it you can pick out the individual flavours. And there's something about having rice in a soup that makes it really scrumptious.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)

Calories
455kcal
Carbs
19.4g
Sugar
4.3g
Fat
27.7g
Saturates
8.7g
Protein
30.6g

Serves 4   Approx time: 50   Difficulty: super easy

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1 handful fresh curry leaves, picked off their stalks
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1½ teaspoons chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 3 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 large thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls basmati rice
  • 565 ml water
  • 600 g fish, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, skinned, filleted and cut into 2-3 inch chunks
  • 400 ml light coconut milk
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 limes, juice of
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
 

Method

Get yourself a big pan and heat up your oil, then add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, cumin seeds, garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric. Cook for a few minutes and you'll get the most amazing smells filling the room from all these spices. Then add the chillies, the ginger, the garlic and the onions. Continue cooking slowly until the garlic and onions are soft. Then add the rice and the water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add your fish and the coconut milk with a little more water and a pinch of salt. Put the lid on the pan and simmer for a further 10 minutes, then stir well to break up the pieces of fish. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper, then just before you serve it squeeze in the lime juice and stir in half the coriander. Serve in warmed bowls, sprinkle over some freshly grated coconut, if you have it, and rip over the rest of the coriander.





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