Put the fish, coconut milk and a little salt into a large pan. Cook gently for about 5 minutes until the fish is just cooked. Remove from the heat and put aside.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the shallots for about 5 minutes, until they are brown and crisp. Add the chillies and cook for a minute. Stir in the fish paste, turmeric and ginger to make your seasoning mix. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the sugar and tamarind water or lime juice, and then simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the thick coconut milk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the fish, discarding the liquid, and add to the pan. Heat through for a minute and serve.
© 1994 Keith Floyd estate. All rights reserved.