Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Barramundi & chickpea curry with spinach

This fragrant fish dish is a quick and easy take on a traditional Thai red curry.

Ingredients (serves 4)
* 125ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
* 1 tbs fish sauce
* 1 tsp brown sugar
* 650g barramundi fillets, cut into large pieces
* 1 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
* 70g baby spinach leaves
* Fresh coriander leaves, to serve
* Steamed rice, to serve
* Lemon wedges, to serve
Curry paste
* 1 fresh long red chilli, deseeded, coarsely chopped
* 1 stem lemon grass, white part only, finely chopped
* 1 French shallot, peeled, chopped
* 1 garlic clove
* 2 tsp finely grated ginger
* 2 tsp chopped fresh coriander root
* 250ml (1 cup) Ayam coconut milk

1. To make curry paste, place chilli, lemon grass, shallot, garlic, ginger, coriander root and coconut milk in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
2. Heat paste in a wok over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Add stock, fish sauce and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add fish and cook for 2-3 minutes or until flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork. Add chickpeas and spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes or until spinach wilts.
4. Divide curry among serving plates and sprinkle with coriander leaves. Serve with rice and lemon wedges.

Notes & tips
* If fresh barramundi is not available, you can use any other firm white fish for this recipe. Try ling, perch or flathead.
* Barramundi, chickpea & tomato soup: Omit fish sauce, sugar and rice. Increase stock to 1L (4 cups). In step 2, add 1 x 400g can diced tomatoes with stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Continue from step 3. Serve with lemon and crusty bread.
* Chickpea & barramundi cakes with baby spinach: Omit the stock, coriander leaves, rice and lemon wedges. Reduce the barramundi fillets to 400g. Add the fish sauce, sugar, barramundi, chickpeas and 1 egg to food processor in step 1. Divide mixture into 8 portions and shape each portion into a 2cm-thick patty. Heat 1 tbs peanut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add patties and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Serve patties with sweet chilli sauce and 1 x 150g pkt baby spinach leaves, steamed.
* Chickpea, pumpkin & coriander salad: Omit the stock, fish sauce, sugar and rice. Replace the barramundi with 700g butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces. Preheat oven to 180°C. At the end of step 1, combine the pumpkin and curry paste in a bowl. Place the pumpkin mixture, in a single layer, on a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tbs peanut oil. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until tender. Combine pumpkin mixture, chickpeas, spinach and 12 cherry tomatoes, halved, in a large bowl. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve with lemon wedges.

Australian Good Taste - Page 44
Recipe by Heidi Flett


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