Serves 4
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Hesitant about cooking fish? Your fissues are nothing to worry about with this foolproof fish recipe, which opens you up to more preparation than actual cooking. Leaving the tender white fish to simmer in an array of spices, expect a bomb of flavours from turmeric, paprika, cinnamon and more, as well as a hint of surprising sweetness from honey and sweet potatoes.

This recipe is featured in Nigella Lawson’s new BBC show which focuses on her favourite recipes for home-cooking. Nigella’s Eat, Cook, Repeat, premieres in Singapore on Monday, 16th August at 7.00pm, on StarHub channel 432 and BBC Player.


  • ¼ tsp ground mace
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp hot smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large sweet potato (approx. 250 g)
  • A small bunch of coriander (approx. 25 g)
  • 20 g fresh ginger
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion (approx. 175g)
  • 400 ml cold water
  • 2 x 15 ml tbsps olive oil
  • 1 orange
  • 2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 15 ml tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes (or ½ tsp fine sea salt)
  • 1 tsp runny honey or maple syrup
  • 750 g skinless firm white fish, in 1 thick piece or thick-cutlets

Measure all the spices into a little bowl, and then peel the sweet potato and cut into 1 cm dice, and leave to one side. Finely chop the tender stalks from the bunch of coriander, to give yourself 3 tbsps. Peel and finely grate the ginger, to give you 1 tsp, and peel the garlic. Peel and roughly chop the onion. Fill a measuring jug with 400 ml cold water.


Warm the oil in a heavy-based pan or casserole that comes with a lid. Add the onion, and cook it gently for about 20 mins until it’s beginning to soften and colour.


Finely grate in the orange zest, mince or grate in the garlic, add the chopped coriander stalks and the grated ginger, and stir everything over gentle heat, then add the spices.


Tip in the diced sweet potato, and stir into the spiced onion over medium heat for 1 min or so. Add the tinned tomatoes, and half fill the empty cans with your water and swill out into the pan.


Spoon in the tomato purée, and add the salt and honey or maple syrup. Halve your zested orange and squeeze out enough juice to give you a tbsp and add that too, giving everything a good stir.


Turn up the heat to bring to the boil, then clamp on the lid, turn the heat right down, and leave to simmer for 40-45 mins until the sweet potato is completely soft and the sauce has thickened slightly. You can do all of this in advance, heating up when you are ready to cook the fish, or move straight on to the fish now.


Cut your fish into large bite-sized pieces and add to the simmering sauce. Turn the heat down and put the lid on. Depending on how chunky or how cold the fish is, it’ll need 3-5 mins to cook in this gentle heat. Remove the pan from the heat, take off the lid and let it stand for a further 2 mins.


Chop the leaves you have left from the stalkless coriander, and sprinkle over the stew on serving.

TIP You may use any white fish, or even salmon or prawns, if you prefer.

Text: Nigella Lawson

Photo: Fremantle

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