Southern Indian Rice And Seafood Soup

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe that is very simple and inexpensive to make. It’s a real winner for a casual lunch with friends or a lazy mid-week supper – and the mild curry flavour goes down well with even the most sensitive palates. You can have it prepared in advance up to the point where you’ve softened the onions. Then, about half an hour before you want to eat, continue from where the rice and water are added. I pop in a few king prawns if I’m feeling decadent. Fresh curry leaves aren’t always available at supermarkets. Either try your local Asian food shop or search Asian food stockists online – you can always freeze a bag of leaves for the next time you try the recipe.

Serves 4


  • 5 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 3 tbsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 handful fresh curry leaves, picked off their stalks
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1½ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 large thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls basmati rice
  • 565ml water
  • 600g fish, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, skinned, filleted and cut into 2-3 inch chunks
  • 400ml light coconut milk
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated coconut


  1. In a large, deep pan, heat up the oil, then add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, cumin seeds, garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric.
  2. Cook for a few minutes and the most amazing smells will fill the room from all the spices. Add the chillies, ginger, garlic and onions. Continue cooking slowly until the garlic and onions are soft.
  3. Add the rice and water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  4. Add your fish and the coconut milk with a little more water and a pinch of salt. Put the lid on the pan and simmer for a further 10 minutes, then stir well to break up the pieces of fish. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. Just before you serve it squeeze in the lime juice and stir in half the coriander.
  6. Serve in warmed bowls, sprinkle over some freshly grated coconut, if you have it, and rip over the rest of the coriander.

Recipe adapted from