Mchuzi wa Samaki

I just made the most delicious fish curry* and am sure to make it again soon. It was a recipe from Zanzibar (Tanzania) and “Mchuzi wa Samaki” simply means “Fish Curry” in Swahili. When I was in Zanzibar I had the best curry I have ever eaten – so much so that I went back for a fourth helping! I don’t remember what was in it, but it was fabulous. As was this. And so simple. Would you like the recipe?

You’ll need:

  • about a kilo or so of firm fleshed fish (I used barramundi)
  • oil for frying
  • a can of coconut milk (the recipe said one to two cups, but I threw in the whole lot – hey, it was lite coconut milk)
  • a large onion, chopped
  • two or three tomatoes, chopped
  • a green capsicum (the recipe said one or two sweet green peppers and I’m assuming that’s what a green capsicum is)
  • ten (yes, ten) cloves of garlic, minced
  • one or two teaspoons of garam masala (I used more than two) or curry powder
  • tamarind paste or powder, to taste – THIS IS ESSENTIAL!! (how much tamarind paste do you use if you don’t know what it will do?? I used a couple of teaspoons)
  • salt (but I forgot that one)

What you do:

  • Vigorously (why vigorously? I’ve no idea) stir together the onion, tomatoes, capsicum, garlic, and spices. (Here is where I screwed up – I put a teaspoon of the tamarind in here and wasn’t supposed to. I think I was supposed to add the salt here, though).
  • Briefly fry the fish in hot oil (or grill it) so that it’s seared but still uncooked inside. Place the fish in a saucepan and cover it in coconut milk and add the tamarind (here is where I was supposed to put the tamarind – so I added another teaspoon here).
  • Add the vegetables to the fish and coconut milk, simmer slowly on low heat until the fish is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  • Serve with rice.
  • Drink Cardamom Tea or Chai with the meal, or afterwards (or like me, guzzle wine).

Try it – I promise it is so, so divine. It’s really mild (in heat), and so full of flavour.
I was going to take a photo of the meal, but was too busy eating it. Sorry.

*I know – me and fish – who’d have thought it (I have warped morals about eating fish). But it was caught by a friend who lives up in Weipa (way, way north Queensland), so I was justified in eating it (no commercial fishery depleting the oceans stocks**)- she froze it and brought some for me on a recent trip back to Townsville. And it was ocean caught Barramundi (fresh water barra is yuk, but ocean barra is divine).

**Yeah, I know (again), recreational fishers do almost as much harm (maybe more) as commercial fishers. I did say my morals were warped. But I still refuse to buy fish from a shop and will NEVER buy prawns… but that’s a rant for a different day.


5 thoughts on “Mchuzi wa Samaki

  1. Hi Tanya,
    I LOVE fish curry, and fish soup – I use ocean perch for pretty much everything, no bones… but all fish is just to dear, so we don’t have it often enough (I am sure you are pleased to hear that! ::smiles::)

    And .. I do not think there needs to be less of you – you are BEAUTIFUL, and your new clothes look lovely, I have mixed feelings about sewing, it’s great to get things the way you want them, but, boy, it can be frustrating…

    I missed your mum’s birthday, must have been while I was away, I must go over and tell her HB.

  2. Clever girl! I should take time to do some sewing. You look lovely in your new clothes. Pretty fabrics. Go easy on yourself. You look perfectly fine. We’re rarely pleased with pictures of ourselves, are we? We always think there’s room for improvement. Which, I suppose, is not a bad thing.
    I’ll bet that pork roast was yummy, in spite of the charred outside. The other meats sound delicious too. I LOVE meat cooked that way!
    Your fish curry does sound divine! I like my curry mild.

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