Warm cinnamon, root ginger and smoked paprika go together wonderfully in this tasty Sri Lankan vegetable curry. If you want to add a bit of fish, try cod or sea bass fillets. Fearne's inspiration for this charming dish came from a holiday: "Many moons ago, before Rex and Honey came along, Jesse and I went on a far-flung adventure to Sri Lanka. It is such a vibrant country where the people smile from the heart and the food is made with love. On the entire trip, there wasn’t a dish I didn’t love. This curry is inspired by the flavours we encountered and the warmth their food provides. I love adding fish to this curry as it adds an extra boost of protein and makes it even more hearty."
- 1½ tbsp coconut or sunflower oil
- 10 fresh curry leaves (optional)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 5cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon½>
- 1½ tbsp mild curry powder½>
- ½ tsp chilli powder (optional)½>
- 1 tsp garam masala½>
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika½>
- 16 cherry tomatoes, halved½>
- 2 x 400ml cans full-fat coconut milk½>
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced½>
- 1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into bite-sized chunks½>
- 200g skinless and boneless cod or sea bass fillets, cut into bitesized pieces (optional)½>
- Sea salt½>
- freshly ground black pepper½>
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced, to serve½>
- Cooked brown rice, to serve½>
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the curry leaves (if using) and fry for 2–3 minutes until the leaves begin to crisp up and brown.
Add the onion and ginger and sauté gently for 5 minutes, until the onion has softened, then add the garlic and fry for a further minute until aromatic.
Add the spices, tomatoes, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Fry for a further 2 minutes until aromatic, then add the coconut milk, carrots and green pepper.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and the sauce has reduced down a little.
If you are using fish, add it to the curry for the last 5 minutes of cooking time, until just cooked through.
Serve with the spring onion scattered over the top and rice alongside.
Top tip for making Fearne Cotton’s Sri Lankan vegetable curry with brown rice
You could use chicken instead of fish in this lovely curry if you prefer, simply brown off in a pan before you start making the curry and simmer in the sauce until cooked through.