Fish Curry with Tomatoes and Coconut Milk

This meal was easy to prepare and had the right kind of warmth for a cool fall evening. We bought the tilapia from Costco, which is not the best place to buy, but is the cheapest. Tilapia is listed as a sustainable seafood if farmed in the US. Try your local health food store or coop for best results. We bought the tomatoes from our local farmer’s market, and they are some of the last of the season as frost is hitting areas of Vermont pretty hard. This recipe is from Charmaine Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook, which is a great compilation of recipe’s from Asia, organized by country. This is in the Sri Lanka section.


  • 1 pound of fish steaks (e.g. US farmed tilapia)
  • 1 t. ground turmeric
  • 1 t salt
  • oil to fry fish
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 t. freshly chopped ginger
  • 1 medium tomato chopped roughly
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 t chili powder (I fried chili flakes in oil and then removed the flakes to prevent over spicing)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Green onions for garnish


If serving with rice, be sure to start before preparing this dish. We served it with brown rice. Wash and dry fish with paper towels. Rub turmeric and salt over steaks and cut into bite sized pieces. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry fish until golden brown on both sides. Drain.

Put onion, garlic, ginger and tomato in electric blender and blend to a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a saucepan and fry the blended mixture for a few minutes (if using chili flakes, fry these and remove flakes before adding mixture). Add the curry and chilli powders and about a teaspoon of salt, the coconut milk, and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer for a few minutes, add the fish and simmer a little longer, taking care not to overcook the fish. Serve with rice and other desired dishes (we chose salad). I added green onions for garnish just before serving.


Thai Red Curry with Beef and Vegetables

This dish was very simple, easy and super tasty! I got the recipe from The Curry Book by Nancie McDermott. I didn’t have eggplant or red bell pepper on hand, like the book instructed, and so I just added what I had in the fridge (mushrooms, broccoli and carrots). I also didn’t have curry paste and so I substituted curry powder. This dish was great over jasmine rice. The vegetables and the meat could be substituted for anything else, such as tofu, chicken, chard, and so on. The curry and coconut milk are the base for the recipe.

1 can coconut milk, divided (we just ordered this in bulk from our local coop to save some costs)
2 Tbsp. red curry paste or powder, divided
1 pound beef top sirloin (or whatever is cheapest) or venison, sliced thin in bite size peices
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil (canola)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small eggplant, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch cubes or 2 cups broccoli florets
3 Tbsp. fish sauce (the cheap stuff is tasty, but smells funny)
1/2 cup fresh basil or 1 Tbsp dried
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces or handful of mushrooms sliced thin and one carrot sliced


  1. Open the can of coconut milk and use a fork to stir the hard top layer into the rest of the can until creamy. Place next to stove. Put a medium saucepan or a wok over medium-high heat and bring about 1/4 cup of the coconut milk to a boil. Add 1 T of the curry paste or powder and stir fry for about 30 seconds (if paste, keep mashing while stirring).
  2. Add the beef and cook 1 to 2 minutes, just until it changes color. Remove it to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the coconut milk and spice in the pan as possible.
  3. Add the oil and the remaining 1 T curry paste or powder to the pan and cook about 30 seconds using the same process as above. Add the onion and eggplant (or carrots) and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion and carrot begin to soften.
  4. Add the remaining coconute milk and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, uncovered, 7 to 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is cooked. If using broccoli and mushrooms, add these just after the coconut milk is added to the pan.
  5. Slice basil into shreds and set aside. When eggplant (or other veggies) are tender, return the beef to the saucepan and add the red pepper. Simmer until the beef is heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the basil and remove from the heat. Serve hot or warm over rice.