A new day and a lone fisherman heads out to sea.
The busy hour in Dar es Salaam streets.
Cars, daladala busses, bajajes, bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians all rush past. Each intent on reaching their destination. In the midst of this, right next to the road we find him … the fish man. Here he has set up his small table displaying the catch of the day. He quickly agrees to clean our enormous red snapper bought at the local fish market earlier so that we can make Lotus’s famous fish curry for supper.
Without further ado he takes out his sharp and probably not so clean knife and right there on the side of the busy road starts cleaning the fish on an old piece of wood.
After paying him 5000 Tzs, about 25 ZAR or 2 USD, we leave the fish man hoping he would sell his fish as it is his only means of income. As we head home to cook supper I think about the many informal businesses in this amazing country. No beggars are seen on the streets, but everywhere people use the skills they have to generate an income.
Later that night all agree the fish curry was the best they have ever had. (Even those faint hearted ones who stood far away during the cleaning process)
Here is the recipe for you to try.
Lotus’s Goan Fish Curry
Any firm white fish ( about 1 kg) cut into cubes
3 to 4 red onions finely chopped
1 clove of garlic grated or crushed
fresh ginger peeled and grated ( about 3 tablespoons )
5 ml turmeric
5 ml masala or curry powder
5 ml paprika
chillies to taste
80 ml lemon juice
1 tin of tomato puree
1 tin coconut cream
salt to taste, olive oil for marinating and frying
Marinate the fish in half of the garlic, ginger and olive oil. Heat the rest of the olive oil in a pan. Fry the onions, garlic and ginger until brown. Add the spices, turmeric, masala or curry powder, paprika. Add chillies if you want the curry to be hot.
Brown the fish in the onion and spice mix. Add the tomato puree, lemon juice and coconut milk last. Salt to taste and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes, Do not stir often as the fish will flake.
Serve on a bed of Basmati rice.