FoodBen Jackson

'Orange Curry' inspired by the island life

FoodBen Jackson
'Orange Curry' inspired by the island life

This ‘Orange Curry’ is influenced by Thai and Sri Lankan styles. It is fresh and earthy, with the key flavours brought out by the ginger, turmeric and lemongrass.

My suggestion is to take portions as a guide only and use substitute ingredients depending on what is available to you.



  • One tablespoon of fresh turmeric

  • One tablespoon fresh ginger

  • One teaspoon of white peppercorns

  • One teaspoon of shrimp paste

  • One teaspoon of cumin seeds

  • One tablespoon of lemongrass

  • One brown onion

  • Two teaspoons of coriander seeds

  • Two coriander roots

  • Six garlic cloves

  • Ten Dried chillies

Other ingredients

  • 400-500g of your favourite white flesh fish chopped in to large pieces (I used Wahoo, which is quite meaty, but you could use Barramundi, Snapper or Red Emperor)

  • Coconut milk (I used freshly pressed coconut milk but this can substituted for one can of coconut milk)

  • Three medium sized eggplants

  • One medium sized head of broccoli

  • Two tablespoons of fish sauce

  • Two tablespoons of palm sugar

  • One tablespoon of tamarind puree

  • One tablespoon of rice bran oil (or another subtle flavoured cooking oil)


Forging the paste

Time: One hour

  1. Clean and scrape coriander root.

  2. Lemongrass needs to be peeled to use the white, inner section.

  3. Soak chillies in hot water for approximately 10 minutes and then deseed.

  4. Finely chop coriander root, turmeric, ginger, garlic, onion, lemongrass and chilli.

  5. Roast coriander and cumin seeds by heating in a pan for 30-90 seconds on a medium heat (should be aromatic but not burnt).

  6. Wrap shrimp paste in aluminium foil and roast on pan or oven for around 3 minutes.

  7. Add ingredients one by one to the mortar and pestle and pound until you have a fine paste.

Preparing the meal

Time: 15-20 minutes

  1. Gently fry the curry paste in the oil and fish sauce on a medium heat for around five minutes.

  2. Add the eggplant once the paste is fragrant and cook for three or four minutes, then add the fish and cook for another two minutes.

  3. Add the coconut milk and turn the heat up slightly.

  4. Mix tamarind puree in about 100ml of hot water and add, along with palm sugar, to the curry.

  5. Once the curry is boiling add the broccoli and cook for another three or four minutes.

  6. Serve with white rice and garnish with coriander or Thai basil.

orange curry