Christine Manfield’ Spiced Barramundi with Tomato-Chilli Pickle

January 23, 2017


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 6 barramundi fillets (100gm each), skin-on
  • 150 gm (½ cup) thick plain yoghurt
  • Fried curry leaves, to serve
  • Tomato-chilli pickle
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) malt vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 small red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, dry-roasted and ground
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 30 gm brown sugar


  1. For tomato-chilli pickle
    1. simmer vinegar and mustard seeds in a saucepan over low heat until liquid is almost completely reduced (8-10 minutes), cool then blend with garlic, chilli and ginger in a food processor until smooth.
    2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add ground spices and fry until fragrant (20-30 seconds), then stir in chilli paste and tomatoes.
    3. Simmer over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tomato breaks down (45-50 minutes). Add brown sugar and 1 tbsp sea salt, simmer for another 5 minutes, then check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
    4. Transfer to a container, cool, cover and refrigerate until required.
    5. Makes about 500ml. Pickle will keep for a month.
  2. Combine oil, chilli, ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper and 2 tsp sea salt in a bowl, then coat fish with spiced oil.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add fish skin-side down and fry until skin is crisp (3-3½ minutes), turn and cook until fish is just cooked through (2 minutes).
  4. To serve, spread 1 tbsp yoghurt on the centre of each plate, top with fish, tomato-chilli pickle and fried curry leaves, and serve hot.

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