From fish curries to lamingtons: Yotam Ottolenghi’s coconut recipes | Food

WWith summer vacation now firmly on the horizon, it’s time to start dreaming of sunsets and tropical islands and fruit. And if that dream is a reality for any of you, I raise a piña colada to the fun you will have. For the rest of us, though, it’s an ideal opportunity to turn the dial to tropical wherever you are. And that’s where coconut comes in, as well as lime leaves, lime juice, fresh herbs, fresh fish, and other sweet fruits like mango that pair so well with it. It’s a perfect match, tropical or not.

Seafood Banana Curry (pictured above)

This is inspired by covered, a Guatemalan seafood soup that features a flavorful mix of seafood, coconut milk, plantain, and yucca. Here, I just use bananas and add lime leaves for a little twist. For a complete meal, serve with steamed rice or rotis.

Homework 25 minutes
Cook 2 hours
It serves 4-6

40ml vegetable oil
8 shell-on tiger prawnspeeled and deveined, heads and shells reserved
6 cloves of garlicpeeled and shredded
20g fresh gingerpeeled and finely grated
½ scotch hatchopped, seeds and all (or remove if you prefer less heat)
40g bunch of fresh coriander20g finely chopped stems, leaves reserved for the sambal
3 makrut lime leaves
2 red bell peppers
stems, seeds without pith, meat cut into 2 cm pieces
1 onionpeeled and finely chopped (180g)
2 green bananas (600 g), peeled and cut diagonally into ½ cm thick slices (350 g)
fine sea salt
½ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400 ml of whole coconut milk
450 g cod without skin
or other meaty white fish, cut into 2½-cm-thick pieces

For the coconut sambal
150g fresh coconut
2 makrut lime leaves
2 limes
– 1 finely grated, to get 2 teaspoons, and squeezed, to get 1 tablespoon, the other cut into 4 wedges to serve

Put a teaspoon of oil in a large saucepan with a lid over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the reserved prawn shells and heads and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes, until very pink. Pour 500 ml of water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Mash the heads and skins with a potato masher to extract as much flavor as possible, then pour the mixture into a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.

Dry the pan and put it on medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil, the garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander stems, and lime leaves, and fry, stirring regularly, for three minutes, until fragrant and golden. Add the bell peppers, onion, plantains, another tablespoon of oil, and a half teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until translucent. Add half the paprika and all the tomato paste, and fry, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, for five minutes.

Pour the shrimp broth through a strainer directly into the pot (discard the solids), add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sambal. Put all ingredients except a teaspoon of lemon juice in a food processor and blend for one minute, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

In a medium bowl, sprinkle the cod with a quarter teaspoon of salt and set aside. In a second bowl, toss shrimp with remaining quarter teaspoon paprika, half teaspoon vegetable oil, and one-eighth teaspoon salt.

When the sauce is ready, put a griddle over high heat. Grill the shrimp for two minutes on each side, until they turn a deep pink color and begin to char. While they are roasting, add the cod to the sauce, cover the pot again and cook for four minutes.

Once cooked, place the grilled prawns and the remaining teaspoon of lime juice in the curry pot and gently stir to combine. Divide the mixture between bowls, top each serving with a generous dollop of sambal, and serve with the rest and lime wedges on the side.

Coconut rice with crispy peanuts

This is a great side dish to go with the protein of your choice. The peanut crisp is super special and will do more than you need here; store excess in an airtight jar and use to sprinkle over salads and fruit. If you only have a little coconut milk left in a can, after using what the recipe calls for, a good trick is to freeze the rest in one or two compartments of an ice cube tray; this means it won’t. it will go to waste and be ready whenever you need some in the future.

Homework 25 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
It serves 8

45g virgin coconut oilplus 1 extra teaspoon
2 onionspeeled and coarsely chopped (360 g)
3 makrut lime leaves
fine sea salt
30g dehydrated coconut
200g white basmati rice
washed until water runs clear, then drained
300 ml of whole coconut milk
200g frozen sweet corn
250g green beanscut
1½ tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
20g coriander leaves

10g mint leaves
coarsely chopped

for coverage
10g virgin coconut oil
2 teaspoons chili flakes
60g salted peanuts
40g dehydrated coconut
40g crispy fried onions
(store bought)
1 teaspoon soft light brown sugar

Put the coconut oil, onions, lime leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large sauté pan with a lid. Put the skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent and slightly colored. Add the desiccated coconut, cook for another three to five minutes, until lightly browned, then add the rice. Pour in the coconut milk and 200 ml of water, cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, leaving the lid on, and let sit for 15 minutes. When ready, lift the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chili flakes, peanuts, and coconut and cook, stirring frequently, for four to six minutes, until toasted and fragrant. Off the heat, add the fried onions, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir to combine, then pour onto a sheet pan and let cool. Once cool, transfer to a food processor, pulse three to five times, until the peanuts are roughly broken up, then tip into a bowl and set aside.

Clean the pan and put it on high heat. Once the pan is steaming hot, add the sweet corn and cook, stirring, for three to five minutes, until the kernels pop and are slightly charred. Pour into a bowl and return the pan to the heat. Drizzle the beans with the remaining teaspoon of coconut oil, then place them in the pan. Use tongs or a smaller skillet to press down on them and sear them for about two minutes per side. Transfer to a board and, once cooled slightly, slice the beans at an angle into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Add them to the bowl of sweet corn, then add the lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, and a quarter teaspoon of salt.

Arrange the rice and charred vegetable mixture in alternating layers on a plate, sprinkle with one-third of the topping, and serve with the rest in a side bowl.

Mango Lime Lamingtons

Mango Lime Lamingtons by Yotam Ottolenghi.

These funky looking cakes are one of Australia’s biggest pastry exports. They are traditionally made with strawberry and chocolate, but this version has been given a tropical twist. Amchur powder can be found in Asian grocery stores, but these cakes are still great without it.

Homework 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour 20 minutes
Rest 1 hour
Does twenty

For the labneh filling
175g labneh (store-bought), or 175g thick-dish Greek yogurt
1½ tablespoons icing sugar

for the sponge
260g unsalted butter at room temperature
260g powdered sugar
5 eggs
340g self-rising flour
fine sea salt
2 limes
– 1 finely grated, to get 1 teaspoon, and squeezed, to get 1 tablespoon, the other left whole
150ml whole milk
250g dehydrated coconutfor cladding

For the mango sauce
Canned mango puree 340g (alfonso, preferably)
210g condensed coconut milk
55ml vegetable oil
2½ tablespoons amchur powder
(Also known as mango powder) – optional

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. First, make the sponge. Grease and line a 20 cm square mold with parchment paper. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment in place and mix on medium-high speed for two minutes, until pale and fluffy. Turn the speed down to medium and mix in the eggs one at a time (don’t worry if the mixture curdles). Turn the speed down to low, add the flour, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and a half teaspoon of lime zest, then pour in the milk to create a dough. Transfer to lined tin and spread evenly.

Bake for 40 minutes, until they are well browned and when pricked with a toothpick comes out clean, remove and let rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

While the sponge is baking, make the coating. Put a large skillet over medium heat, add half the coconut and toast, stirring frequently, for seven minutes, until golden brown. Pour into a large bowl, add the remaining unroasted coconut and 1/2 teaspoon lime zest, and set aside.

For the sauce, whisk the mango puree, condensed milk, oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons amchur, if using, and lime juice in a large bowl until well blended.

For the filling, whisk together the labneh and icing sugar in a medium bowl. Use a small, sharp knife to remove the skin and pith from the remaining whole lime, cut between the membranes to release the segments, then coarsely chop. Weigh out 20g minced lime wedges (save the rest for another use) and mix them in the labneh bowl.

Trim the top and bottom crusts off the cooled pie, thereby removing the “bump” on top and leveling it off, then cut in half horizontally to make two equal layers. Spread the filling over the inside of the cake, then push the two slices back together. Trim the crusts on the sides to make them thinner, then cut into 20 4cm x 5cm squares.

Working one at a time, carefully dip each side of each square cake into the mango sauce, so it is coated on all sides. Dip in desiccated coconut mixture, toss gently to coat, then transfer to serving plate and repeat with remaining cakes, sauce and coconut.

Sprinkle the cakes with the remaining tablespoon of amchur, if using, and serve.

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