Monthly Archives: March 2013

Simply Punjabi Salmon

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The Skeleton of the following recipe was given to me by my friend Gopal who I mentioned that I had an Indian food blog to, his response to that little bombshell was to send me an email at work with some random business stuff that I deal with on a day basis and the recipe at the foot of the message  he thought I and  you curry demons out there might like something that he and his wife like to eat. Nice one Gopal 🙂
I don’t know how traditional it is as I have not been given a traditional name so I have called it something appropriate to the roots of ts origins as I understand them……

When I say this recipe was given to me as a Skeleton it was about 9 lines in total and that included the list of ingredients and as such I have had to use a little bit of demonology to pull it round into something eatable and tangible as a recipe. I do have to say that as a general rule I do not like Salmon, usually its a bit too fishy for my tastes……….. but having an open mind to anything curry, and I do mean anything curry, I have to say I enjoyed cooking and eating it and could  eat this all day everyday, oh yes; which is a good thing as Mrs demonology tells me that Salmon is good for me and my brain……Fabulous

1st May 2014… I do continue to work on recipes and this is no exception I have added a couple more Ingredients Aniseed, and Coconut Milk , tamarind and jaggery and the affect was astonishing bringing the recipe to a new level so if you haven’t tried this yet do so now it is fantastic

This dish like a lot of fish type recipes requires that you make a sauce before you add the fish, and like any sauce this is the taste that the fish is balanced against, and is to a lesser or greater extent the judging point of whether a curry is lifted from very good to great….you can be the judge of that!

I have also gone for a tinned tomato here, as they are always fantastic in taste and great for colour, so never fear tinned toms are a brilliant choice for cooking and in a lot of cases superior to the bland fresh varieties that the supermarkets peddle.  My other reason for using the tinned variety was that tinned chopped toms have a lot of liquid in them and personally I prefer to reduce the sauce rather than add water especially as this is a dry-ish curry, use fresh if you prefer but be warned you may need to add more water later…..

Ingredients

SAM_2888for 2 persons

1 Tbsp Ghee
1tsp Cumin seeds

1 tsp Aniseed whole
1tsp Ground brown Mustard seeds
1sp Garam masala
1tsp Turmeric

.5tsp black peppercorns

1tsp Jaggery

1tsp Tamarind Paste

1 medium Onion chopped
3 cloves Garlic through a garlic press
1 inch cube Ginger

3 medium Green Chillies(Chopped finely and de-seeded)
small tin chopped tomatoes. 225 gm

150ml coconut milk

2 Salmon fillets

Method

The first thing you need to do here is create a curry base (Thorka) , this will be a quite dry base as there is very little water added later, and relies on the tomato juice, coconut milk reductions to bring it to the right consistency which should be rich and unctuous.and the salmon for the moisture.

Start by melting the ghee in a flat based pan and add the cumin, and brown mustard and, aniseed, andpeppercorns  cook until they are frothing nicely and releasing their flavours, then add the onions and fry of on a high heat for a couple of minutes.

Reduce the heat a little, add the Ginger, garlic and chillies, and fry until the onions have softened and are beginning to go opaque.

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Reduce the heat a little at this point and  continue to fry off the onions garlic and ginger, add the green chillies and after a few more minutes of frying, add the turmeric and continue frying until the onions are golden brown, then add the small tin of chopped tomatoes and cook for another five to ten minutes or so, until the sauce has reduced to the consistency you think you will like, then add the coconut milk, Jaggery and tamarind and reduce again finally checking the seasoning adding some salt and a little chilli powder to balance to the taste you like.

Finally  adding the Garam Masala .
Now its time for the fish, the sauce should be fairly thick and after reducing the heat to a very low flame, place the fillets of Salmon onto the sauce, which you should be able to bring together as a bed for the fillets to rest on. Place them Skin side down and add a tablespoon of water over each fillet, cover the pan and simmer for about seven or eight minutes on a very low heat, essentially steaming the fish through. The fish will release its juices and will  pick up the flavour of the sauce during this part of the cooking giving the dish the depth of flavour that good curries are famed for…….

Turn the fish over and add anotherSAM_2895 tablespoon of water to each fillet, and repeat the simmering process for another seven or eight minutes SAM_2896or until the fish is cooked through and  flaky.
This final cooking stage is a good time to prepare the Naans or rice and by the time that these have heated through your fish should be ready to serve, add a little splash of lemon juice to the fish and eat this delicious tasty and quick to cook dish taking about 30 minutes including the preparation……

India bit me again!

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In my last post  several weeks back I asked was Kerala ready for me, I think I should have asked was I ready for Kerala?

I don’t know what I expected but what I got was a place so full of surprises and unlike anything else India has to offer.

There is still the basic lack of basic hygiene and the usual piles of rubbish, dirt and nastiness piled up in any available spot that occasionally someone might put a match to and create those odours and smells that assault the nasal passages with a blend of pongs and perfumes  that continues to remain as a memory, never to be forgotten. That malodorous scent being a cross between smouldering plastics, waste foods and the everyday detritus that mankind has decided is rubbish, all simmering gently together in a not very pleasant heap, that when not alight is picked over by the cowsgarbage-dump-india that wander around as they wish, appearing to belong to no one and eating what they find. Add this assault upon the senses to the abject poverty and lack of basic utilities that we in the west enjoy, sewage and sanitation systems, running water and a constant supply of electricity, and not forgetting the plethora of other things the developed world take  very much for granted and expect as an everyday god given right, most of which are things that are a far off dream for the average Indian going about his daily life, and you might be forgiven for wondering why anyone would want to go to such a place, and more importantly go there for a holiday!SAM_2778

Well that is really very simple, in that for every gut wrenching negative that India offers up for inspection, as it surely does round every corner and up every alley, there are ten things that compensate for those negatives and things that no one can change without altering an infrastructure that has “worked” for its people for millennia, and continues to do so to this day; a country where community is more than just a word and life is something that is lived rather than presented to you on a plate, and all that bundled together into areas of outstanding, and spectacular interest and beauty, that will continue to draw me back to it as often as I can, filling a part of me with the bounty that is the joy of India, and something that I will never tire of, irrespective of the frustrations and contradictions that are undoubtedly India.

For those of you that follow me they will know that my focus in this Blog is the food, and more especially the curry that is my raison detre for writing, although I do hope that you will forgive me for presenting a few comments and ideas on the country that holds such a place in my heart of affection and love.

Yes I do love India what a place……

How can you not?

Moving swiftly on…….Anyone for lunch?

The food of Kerala was I must say some of the very best regional foods that I have ever experienced in India…. wow, I have included a photo of one of the banquets that it was my pleasure to enjoy, and some of the dishes being extrodinary in textures and flavours, some that I still do not know what they were called, and occasionally so regional as to have no English translationAnyone for lunch

The following banquet a lunchtime feast was presented on the last day of a backwaters cruise out of Allepey a place that can best be described as an area of outstanding natural beauty where there are many “houseboats available for anyone for  hire. coming with crew and a cook whose sole purpose in life as to tickle your taste buds and in my case, and that was achieved with gusto at every meal!

This particular one served on Banana leaves for good effect and eaten with the hands as only a good meal should, a meal of celebration called “sadhya” and one with a few rules like there is no onion or garlic used and generally a vegetarian meal always served at lunchtime, however this particular banana leaf of joy had a  main dish of a parcel of local fish caught that very morning and marinated in a paste, of chilli turmeric and local spices that give the food that unique and very regional taste, gently cooked and presented alongside rice and  veg side dishes that you would never find in the local restaurant. This was perhaps the highlight meal of the trip but there were many others featuring seafood, vegetables, chicken and meats all presented in the simple way that says judge me on the taste.

Food is an international language and “Curry” what ever that is seems to be one dialect that is spoken pretty much everywhere throughout Asia, diversity of flavours and textures for sure but curry by any other name. The masters of the flavours and the spices for me are without doubt the Indian subcontinent  nations, although some might argue that Malay and the south-eastern Asian nations certainly kerala5have a thing or two to say on the subject of great curry.

Whatever curry you choose it is an irrevocable fact however that any curry eaten in its land of origin cooked with the local taste and ingredients is far superior to that of the high street where traditional taste are subdued for the sake of the vagaries’ of local taste often for the realisation of profit, rather than a genuine reflection of the true tastes and flavours, and I for one wish they wouldn’t do it, but no one listens to little old me, and all  can do is keep on showing the world the traditional recipes that have made the dish that is Indian Curry great throughout the world….