You might not know what a Moilee is, but you may have eaten it somewhere along the line. A Moilee is a delicious and creamy curry, originating for the sun-kissed shores of Goa in India. Different to most other curries a Moilee is very delicately spiced and whilst it can still have a decent chilli kick, the heat is mellowed greatly by the rich and creamy addition of coconut milk. 'Meen Moilee' is a seafood curry usually made with King fish, local to Goa but quite commonly studded with a wonderful variety of perfectly tender scallops, prawns, squid and white fish.
I love anything that has coconut in it and having used so many different brands of coconut milk, I have realised that quality varies greatly from brand to brand. Top Chef Atul Kocchar volunteered his time as one of the Chef at the Haiti Charity Banquet I masterminded last year and when sourcing his ingredients for his dish, he stated a preference for 'Pride' brand of coconut milk which convenientlt, I have found at my local Sainsbury's in the Caribbean and Asian sectiom. So if you can lay your hands on it, then stock up! It is a fantastic kitchen staple and is much richer and creamier than other brands of coconut milk. Here is how to make a deliciously satisfying Seafood Moilee perfect for a dinner party or just a simple and comforting meal for two;
Seafood Moilee (Serve 2, double quantities if required)
1 tin of coconut milk
4 large scallops
6 large raw prawns, peeled cleaned
200g of chunky white fish (Cod, Coley, Monkfish or Haddock work beautifully)
2 teaspoons of turmeric
1 teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds
Handful of Curry leaves (from Asian supermarkets) or 1 teaspoon of curry powder
2 finely chopped green chillies (or one if you don't like a decent heat)
2 onions, halved and sliced into thin half moons
6 inches of grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
Juice of half a fat lime
Generous handful of roughly chopped coriander
Maldon sea salt
**optional** Vegetables of your choice, I like to use green beans
In a deep pan over a medium-high heat, once the pan is hot add some oil and your mustard seeds and cover with a lid whilst the mustard seeds pop and release their flavour into the oil. Then saute your onions in oil cooking onion until translucent and slightly golden. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and curry leaves and stir well allowing to cook for a couple of minutes. Add your turmeric and stir well into the onions allowing the turmeric to cook through a little.
Next add your coconut milk and several generous pinches of Maldon sea salt and stir the mixture well, tasting it to check the seasoning and adjusting accordingly beforer adding the lime juice. Then add your green beans and allow to cook for 5 minutes and during this time, cut your white fish into chunks about 2 inches squared and add them into the pot. 2 minutes later add the prawns and cook for about 2 minutes before finally adding your scallops. Once you have added the scallops, simmer for a minute and turn off the heat and remove the pan from the hob. Stir through your roughly chopped fresh coriander and serve with steaming fragrant basmati or jasmine rice.