This is my version of a generic South Indian style Fish Curry using staple South Indian spices such as mustard seeds, red chilli, curry leaves and coconut. These along with the other ingredients are very easily available in supermarkets outside India. This dish is quick to prepare and is a lighter curry that can be enjoyed during the warm summer months when you need a curry fix. For my last attempt (pictured) I have used Hake Fish Steaks but any firm white fish will do. I have used Cod, and Monkfish before. See what you can get fresh on the day. If you have or can get your hands on to some tamarind paste, use a level tablespoon (tbsp) of that instead of the lemon juice but add that just before adding the fish.
Ingredients (serves 4)
Firm white fish about 800 gms to a kilo
Madras curry powder 2 tbsp
Onion 1 large made into a paste
Ginger and Garlic paste 1 tbsp
Tomato one medium chopped finely
Coconut cream – 2 tbsp
Oil = 2 tbsp
Juice of half a lemon
Curry leaves around 10
Red chilli 2 (depending on how hot you want it)
Mustard seeds one level tbsp
Salt for marination and for the gravy according to taste
Dessicated coconut (optional) 1 tbsp
Marinade the fish with salt and and leave for about 30 mins. Heat oil in a pan and add the red chilli, mustard seeds and once they start to splutter add the onion paste. Stir over medium to high heat till it changes colour. Now add the curry leaves and the ginger garlic paste. Stir for about 2 to 3 minutes till the raw smell disappears. Add the spices with a little water and stir well. Add the chopped tomato and stir for about 5 mins till the whole thing turns somewhat pulpy. Now add the coconut cream. Stir the mixture well. Check seasoning. Add a little water if required before adding the fish pieces so that they are just covered. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of the fish) on a medium flame till the fish is done. Check Seasoning, add lemon juice. Top it with dessicated coconut (if using) and serve immediately with plain rice.
With the Easter holidays, I have been slightly busier than usual and have not been able to spend time blogging as much as I would have loved. The weather is nice for a change and we have been busy exploring the outdoors with my daughter. During this time i have prepared many dishes but have not been able to perfect the dishes or take decent pictures to actually do up the blog. For my next post I have chosen to write about this easy fish dish with vegetables that’s steamed in their own juices. I know that a lot of recipe out there claims to be easy but this really is easy. You could rustle up this in no time and also be able to use fish from frozen. As for the vegetables you are welcome to play around too and use up what’s available. Most vegetables work well here. Over my many attempts, I have used peas, carrots, sweet potato, beans, peppers, sweet corn, baby corn, very thin sliced potato, chopped tomatoes, blanched cabbage, mange trout etc. I have also made this dish with just salt and pepper, with Chinese five spices, with Indian Curry spices and with Thai flavours. They have all worked well so you could use different flavours too experimenting till you come to like one or two. Most of the time I have added a spoon of tomato purée diluted with a tiny bit of water and poured over the top of the fish fillets. I have also semi defrosted the fish in a microwave but if you are using thin fillets then I have also cooked from frozen and have had great results.
2 fillets of any white fish (Pollack was used in the last recipe that’s in the picture)
1 medium carrot cut into medium pieces
1 medium onion sliced
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Handful of peas
5 baby corns cut into medium chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tsp of Chinese five spice mix or Indian Curry powder or Thai 7 spice mix.
1 tbsp of tomato purée
If using Thai flavours add lime leaves or one chopped lemon grass (optional)
Heat a frying pan that has a fitting lid. Add a about a tablespoon of oil. When hot add the garlic and after about 30 seconds add onions. Stir for a minute and add the rest of the vegetables. Stir fry for about 2 minutes. Now place the fish fillets on top and add the salt. Sprinkle the spice and top with the tomato purée diluted in about 5 tablespoons of water. Add black pepper (or chilli powder if more heat is desired) and add lemon grass or lime leaves if using Thai flavours. Now cover with a lid and cook till done. This usually depends on the thickness of the fish and if it was frozen or not. Just check after 10 minutes and then cover and cook more if required. Don’t over cook the fish as it will also continue cooking. drizzle with some fresh lemon juice and serve immediately.
ps. I have created a 13 second video highlighting the process and show you how easy it is to prepare this dish. Please follow the link to view it on my Instagram feed.