Thursday, August 7, 2008

Quick Fish Curry

This mild fish curry can be served with white rice noodles, snow peas and poppadums, reflecting the combination of Indian and Chinese cultures that makes the Singapore cuisine unique. Recipe serves 4.


2 ounces (60 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tablespoons butter
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 inch (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger, shredded
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon red lentils, washed and drained
Salt and ground black pepper
2 ounces (60 g) creamed coconut
2 pound (1 kg) monk fish or cod fillets, sliced
4 tablespoons double cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander


1. Toast the shredded coconut under a medium grill for 2 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a large deep-sided frying-pan, add the finely chopped onions, garlic and ginger and fry over gentle heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the ground coriander, chili, turmeric, garam masala, cumin and red lentils and cook for a further minute.
3. Pour over 1 pint (600 ml) water and bring to the boil. Add the creamed coconut and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
4. Slide in the sliced fish and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Stir in the cream and fresh coriander. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
5. Transfer the fish to a warmed serving platter. Serve garnished with the toasted coconut.

Tip: If you prefer a stronger curry, increase the chili powder to 3/4 teaspoon and the garam masala to 1 1/2 teaspoons.

Apricot Tea Loaf

Dried apricots give this afternoon tea bread a moist texture and a sweet, fruity taste. Recipe makes 1 loaf.


4 ounces (125 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
Finely grated rind of 1 orange
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup dried apricots
2 tablespoons orange juice


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 1 pound (500 g) loaf tin. Line the base and sides with greaseproof paper.
2. Put the butter, sugar and orange rind into a large mixing bowl. Beat together with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk until the mixture is light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder. Finely chop the dried apricots and stir into the flour mixture. Fold into the creamed mixture with a metal spoon. Stir in the orange juice. Ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a tablespoon. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a warm skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
5. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack. The loaf can be eaten warm or cold. Slice and serve plain or buttered.

Tip: This loaf can be made with any dried fruit. Use your favorite fruit or try a mixture of flavors. Peaches, pears, figs and stoned dates all work well, but make sure you chop them finely.

Creamy Baked Peas

The creamy dressing on this vegetable dish makes it quite rich and suitable to serve as an entree. Use the freshest, sweetest peas for this recipe. Serves 6.


6 spring onions, cut into dice
1 pound (500 g) shelled peas
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces (60 g) prosciutto, cut into strips
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup natural yogurt
Ground black pepper to taste
Good pinch ground nutmeg


1. Boil the peas and onion in water with the sugar for 3 minutes. Drain.
2. Heat the cream, yogurt, salt, pepper and nutmeg, but don't bring to the boil.
3. Combine with the peas, onion and prosciutto.
4. Pour into an ovenproof dish and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Stir parsley through and serve.

Pineapple Salad Boats

This vegetarian summertime special is quick and easy to prepare and its fruit and vegetable ingredients create an exotic impression. Recipe serves 4.


1 large pineapple
11 ounces (300 g) cottage cheese
1 large carrot
2 celery stalks, diced
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons pine kernels
Salt and ground black pepper
Mint sprigs, to garnish
For the Dressing:
4 tablespoons salad oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


1. Cut the pineapple into quarters lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. Remove and discard the hard center core and dice half the flesh. Pat the pineapple shells dry.
2. Drain the cottage cheese. Coarsely grate the carrot and mix with the diced pineapple, cottage cheese, celery, raisins, pumpkin seeds and pine kernels. Season.
3. Divide and put the mixture onto the 4 pineapple shells. Using 2 palette knives, shape into wedges.
4. Liquidize and sieve the remaining pineapple flesh. Combine the pineapple juice with the oil and vinegar and whisk well.
5. Divide the dressing equally between 4 chilled plates. Put a pineapple boat on each plate on top of the dressing and garnish individually with sprigs of fresh mint.

Tip: Try adding 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint to the pineapple dressing for extra color and flavor.