MAY 2018 | Wai Lin Coultas
DESPITE BEING a landlocked country, Ethiopia is renowned for a freshwater fish stew laced with its staple berbere spice mix.
Tampering down the heat without compromising on the layers of flavour in the berbere spice, this hearty seafood stew draws from late autumn’s natural bounty in Australia; the perfect conversation starter when friends come over for dinner.
Ingredients: 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped 8 cm long fresh old ginger, peeled and finely chopped 2 tsp ground cinnamon 2 tsp cardamom pods, grounded 1 tsp allspice 1 tsp fennel seeds, grounded 2 tsp ground cumin 0.2 g saffron, soaked in a little hot water for 1 hour to draw out the colour 14 pinches ground nutmeg 1 tsp cloves, grounded ½ tsp sweet paprika 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper 5 tsp salt 1 x 400g tin whole tomatoes, pureed in its juices 1 tbsp tomato paste 400 ml water 5 tbsp Prickly Box honey 5 tbsp raspberry jam 400g fresh snapper fillet*, cut into chunks 600 g fresh prawns, shelled and deveined 600 g peeled roasted sweet chestnuts 300 g brussel sprouts, blanched and halved 2 large carrots, diced 1.5 cm thick and steamed 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced 1.5 cm thick and steamed Extra virgin olive oil 4 large limes, quartered *Note: Can be substituted with any white fish whose flesh stays firm in a stew.
Instructions: 1. Stir-fry onion, garlic and ginger in heated olive oil in a pot over a medium flame till the bulbs are translucent and you can smell the ginger. 2. Stir in the 9 spices and saffron with its liquid until fragrant. 3. Stir in tomatoes (pureed and paste), water, salt, honey and raspberry jam, bringing to a boil. 4. Add the seafood to simmer until the fish turns an opaque white and prawns pink. 5. Add chestnuts and vegetables; cooking a further 2 minutes. 6. Serve individual bowls hot, with squeeze of lime to taste and warm buttered ciabatta on the side. Serves 6
Photo | Wai Lin Coultas