The combination of the coconut and tamarind gives this dish a distinctive sweet-and-sour flavour that is typical of Kerala, in the south of India. This recipe is taken from the new cookbook – Easy Indian Cookbook, available here..
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
A generous pinch of chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
300g lemon sole fillets or any other white fish, skinned and trimmed and cut into 7.5cm/3 in pieces
2 tbsp sunflower oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
55g creamed coconut, crumbled
Put the tamarind pulp in a small heatproof bowl, pour over enough boiling water to cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Use a wooden or plastic spoon to press the pulp and release the seeds and fibres, then strain through a nylon sieve (strainer) into a bowl, pressing with the back of the spoon to extract as much juice as possible.
Discard the pulp.
Bring 250ml/1cup water to the boil.
Sprinkle the turmeric and salt over the fish. Stir the cumin, coriander, chilli powder and boiling water into the tamarind juice, then set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over a medium heat. Add the fish and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally and taking care not to break up the pieces. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
Reduce the heat, add the garlic to the oil remaining in the pan and fry, stirring, for 30 seconds, or until golden. Watch so it does not burn.
Return the fish to the pan. Stir in the creamed coconut, tamarind liquid and 4 tablespoons boiling water. Simmer for a further 3-4 minutes until the flavours blend and the fish is cooked through and flakes easily.