Malaysian Coconut Seafood Curry


I was in Boracay in the Philippines recently, which reignited my love of coconuts!

It made me think, I wonder if coconuts have any positive fertility power, and after some googling found that coconut oil is often recommended as a natural element for balancing your hormones.

Now I’m sure there are many things that can help to balance or imbalance your hormones, and this is not some miracle cure, but I really love all things coconut so am very happy to incorporate a bit of coconut oil!

In fact I’ve gone all out with the coconuts for this recipe, including coconut milk and dessicated coconut too. I even served mine in fresh coconuts (after drinking the juice of course), but that is completely optional – a bowl works just as well.

Serves 4


  • 12 king prawns peeled with tails left on and de-veined
  • 250g squid, cut into rings or however you prefer your squid
  • 400g white fish, cut into 3 inch chunks
  • 4 slices galangal
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 120ml chicken stock
  • 2tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 5 tbsp water
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 1 large tomato, halved and then quartered
  • 100g spinach
  • 1.5 tbsp coconut oil
  • Small bunch fresh coriander
  • Squeeze lime juice

Spice paste:

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 dried chillies
  • 2-4 fresh red chillies
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • 10 shallots
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (wrap it in foil and dry roast in a pan before using)
  • 2 tsp dried prawns (optional), soaked in a little water for 10 minutes to rehydrate them
  • 2tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Serve with steamed rice topped with toasted dessicated coconut


First make the spice paste. Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds in a pan for 2-3 minutes or until they start popping, then grind them in a pestle and mortar.

Spice paste

Roughly chop all the other paste ingredients and put in a food processor, then add the coriander and cumin seeds. Blitz to a paste – you might want to add a tablespoon or two of water if it needs it.

Add a tablespoon of the spice paste to the seafood and mix it in well with an extra squeeze of lime juice.


Heat the coconut oil in a large pan or wok over a medium heat. Fry the remaining spice paste for 2-3 minutes.

Bruise the lemongrass and galangal with the pestle and crush up the lime leaves in your hand. This is really important to release the flavours – smell the difference before and after! Add these to the pan with the stock and tamarind paste and simmer for a minute.

Add the fish pieces and tomato and cook for a minute.

Add the coconut milk with the squid, prawns and spinach and cook for another two minutes.

To finish, add lime juice and fresh coriander to taste and serve.



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