For the massalé

  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • small piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground chilli
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg

For the curry

  • 900g/2lb red snapper or monkfish
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp massalé
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • small piece ginger, chopped
  • 3 tbsp tamarind water
  • leaves from 2 sprigs thyme
  • ½ tsp anise
  • 450ml/¾ pint fish stock or water

Preparation method

  1. Dry roast the whole spices until lightly coloured and set aside to cool. Grind finely and stir in the chilli and nutmeg. It can be stored for up to 2-3 months in an airtight jar.
  2. Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy pan and fry the onion until golden. Stir in the massalé and turmeric and lightly fry. Add the pieces of fish, and all the other ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until the fish is ready.
  4. Serve with rice.