We love the Petersham Café. Aside from being a unique space and the rather compelling fact that its a mere ten minute drive away, we have also had some pretty good meals there.
We particularly liked it during Skye Gyngell's time there.her approach to cooking is, like Ruth Rogers and Rose Grey, one of simplicity and good ingredients. Her books are also really good. This recipe is from ‘my favourite ingredients’ I made it on a very wet Saturday afternoon for Lisa and I to have for dinner.
I couldn't get any monkfish so used a combination of cod and halibut, which seemed to work perfectly ok. This would be a great recipe to make for a crowd because you can prepare the sauce ahead of time and just finish it off at the last minute.
I think you could also dial up the heat to suit your particular taste. I kept it fairly mild to suit Lisa. so chose two small birds eye chillies and deseeded one of them.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
In a separate small frying pan, toast the mustard, fennel and coriander seeds over a medium head till they release a slight aroma. Check to make sure that you do not over roast otherwise this will give the curry a bitter taste. Remove from heat, and while still warm, grind to a rough powder in a mortar and pestle.
Add the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar, stir once or twice and turn up the heat a little. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Taste for flavouring: the curry base should be warm, slightly sweet but also sour. Add more lime or fish sauce to adjust to taste.
To finish, add the coconut milk and then add the monkfish. Bring to the boil, cook for 3-4 minutes until the fish is just cooked (if it feels firm to the touch it is done). Scatter the coriander leaves and serve in bowls with rice or flat breads.