Four years of blogging and I am finally posting a fish recipe. I didn’t grow up eating much fish, so it has always intimidated me a bit. This Fish Suruwa from Fiji is perfect for those like me who don’t have a lot of experience working with fish. From beginning to end, the entire process takes about 30 minutes to create an incredibly easy and flavorful meal.
The Indian influence on Fijian cuisine is particularly prominent in dishes such as this Fish Suruwa. Onions, chilies, spices (garam masala, turmeric, cumin), and tomatoes are simmered to create the curry base for the fish and the addition of coconut milk gives a creamy texture. Serve it with steamed white rice (I used jasmine) and top with a sprinkling of freshly chopped cilantro.
Some recipes I came across included coconut milk as the liquid for the curry while others like Clever Cooking used water. I also found variations with the spices used. Others also included curry leaves, curry powder, and/or fresh ginger. Some placed the fillets whole in the pan like I did while others chopped the fish into bite size pieces.
I simmered the tomatoes for about 15 minutes to help break them down. Use a spoon or potato masher to help create a smoother texture if desired.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 long, red chilies
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
1 1/2 pounds firm, white fish
Juice of 1 lemon
400 ml (1 2/3 cups coconut milk)
Salt to taste
Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
Steamed white rice for serving
In a large skillet, drizzle oil over medium heat. Once heated, add the onion and cinnamon stick. Cook until the onion begins to soften, then mix in the garlic and chilies. Cook until just fragrant and stir in the garam masala, cumin, and turmeric.
Once fragrant, add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to break down, about 15 minutes. Push in the fish pieces around the tomato mixture to the bottom of the pan and drizzle the lemon juice over the top. Cook for a couple of minutes and flip the fish to the other side. Gently mix in the coconut milk and simmer just until the fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and serve immediately with rice and topped with cilantro.