West Indian Seafood Curry

Sunset over Montego BayA cool wind on a warm Jamaican beach, a cold Red Stripe and a spicy seafood treat.

I’m always amazed by the myriad of influences in Jamaican cuisine, as well as the island’s astounding produce. So this dish reflects the impact of Montego Bay’s Hindustani or Indo-Jamaican community.

Serve with rice or, for a real Jamaican kick, with Grandma Southby’s Rice and Peas.


Serves 2–4


200g white fish — anything firm and sustainable: haddock, pollock, farmed cod — cut into chunks

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 allspice berries

½ teaspoon chilli flakes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 shallot, peeled and chopped

1 small or ½ large clove garlic, peeled and chopped

2 fresh Kaffir lime leaves

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon tamarind puree

½ lime, juiced

2 tablespoons coconut cream or yogurt (optional)


1. Heat a dry frying pan and toast the coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and allspice berries over a low heat for 3–4 minutes, until fragrant. Grind them up in a pestle and mortar or a spice mill. Set aside.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wide heavy-based pan, and soften the shallot and the garlic. Add the spices and stir for 30 seconds more. Add the tinned chopped tomatoes, the tamarind puree, the lime juice, one of the kaffir lime leaves, sea salt and a grinding of black pepper. Simmer for 1 minute.

3. Add your fish and simmer for another 3–5 minutes until the fish looks white and is breaking apart.

4. Taste for seasoning. If you like, swirl through some yogurt or coconut cream.

5. Serve with rice and garnish with the other lime leaf, slivered into ribbons.