Zanzibar Salt Cod Curry

This inexpensive, filling curry is typical of the food popular on the island of Zanzibar and may be served with salad and fried plantain for supper or lunch.


½ lb. salt cod, soaked overnight in cold water, rinsed and drained

2 fl. oz. peanut oil

2 onions, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and chopped

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes

2 potatoes, parboiled and chopped

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon hot chilli powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 oz. chopped peanuts

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves

Place the fish in a medium-sized saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring the water to the boil over high heat.

Remove the pan from the heat and drain the fish in a colander.

Remove and discard the skin and bones from the fish. Cut the fish into 1-inch cubes and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic and green pepper and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Add the tomatoes with the can juice, the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Stir the mixture into the onion mixture and blend well. Add the fish cubes to the mixture and stir well to blend. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender and the fish is cooked through. Stir in the peanuts and continue to simmer for a further 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and serve at once.

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