Stews have featured heavily in the last month and I'm finishing off with one where smoked haddock is the star of the show, although this dish also has a touch of pilaf about it throwing into question its name.

I borrowed Jamie Oliver's spice blend from his easy curried fish stew recipe comprising black mustard seeds (1tsp), turmeric (1 level tsp), chilli powder (I used 1 level tsp of mild chilli powder to ensure it would go down well with the kids), cumin seeds (0.5 tsp) and fennel seeds (0.5 tsp) and then took it from there.

Serves 4


250g brown rice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
Jamie Oliver's curried fish stew spice blend
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled  
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
2 skinless smoked haddock fillets, cut into bite sized chunks  
200g green beans
250g chestnut mushrooms
Salt and pepper


Cook the brown rice according to the packet instructions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan, salt the onions, and then soften gently for 8 minutes or so. Add the spice mix and ginger and cook for a further minute.

Add the chopped tomatoes and coconut milk and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Then add the fish, green beans and mushrooms, season and simmer gently for a final 10 minutes.

Drain the rice and add to the pan mixing everything gently so as not to break up the fish too much and then serve.

My recipe could perhaps be described as a little more sterilised than Jamie Oliver's. I didn't add prawns, prawn heads or even contemplate the idea of squeezing out "all the lovely juices" from prawn heads into the stew; yet it was delicious all the same.