Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Feel-Good Fish & Eggplant Curry

Fish and eggplant may sound like a bizarre combination, but trust me, this curry is fantastic.

When our daughter was due to arrive my mother came to stay with us in Shanghai. Every day she did the shopping and cooking and this was one of the dishes she cooked for us after our daughter was born. I remember wolfing it down for dinner and then eating another huge bowl at 2am after a lengthy breastfeed.

This Fish & Eggplant Curry is super easy to make and incredibly rich, hearty and sustaining. Sardines are high in omega-3s and calcium and low in mercury. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese, as well as all the B vitamins, so this curry really does make you feel very good.

I love eating curry in cooler weather as it warms up your bones from the inside, but I also like eating it in summer, as it reminds me of eating curry in the sweltering humidity of Malaysia.

Serve it with plain rice and pappodams for a simple, everyday feast.


1 425 grams can Ayam sardines in tomato sauce
1 onion, diced
2 medium-large eggplants
1 tomato cut into sixths
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fish curry powder, mixed with small amount water
1 cup water, plus extra
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Cut the eggplants into 1 cm slices, then cut each slice into quarters.

Heat vegetable oil in a large (and deep) fry pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the curry paste and fry until the paste begins to leave the side of the pan.

Pour in one cup water and add sliced eggplant and tomato to dish. Simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring occassionally.

Add the canned fish and salt, garlic and vinegar. Using a wooden stirrer, cut each sardine into three pieces. Mix gently to combine, trying not to break the fish up any further. Heat through gently (do not stir) and then transfer to a serving bowl.

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