Category Archives: Fish

All things Fishy of the curry types, shellfish included

Sweet and Sour Mixed Fish Curry

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SAM_3467 In tow with Mrs Demonology round the local supermarket is never my chosen pastime, for my part I would have it delivered but Mrs Demonology is very particular preferring to inspect, feel and caress all that is natural that we purchase on our weekly expedition to spend. spend. spend.  That said whilst on this recent sojourn I espied a pack of fish made up of Salmon, and some various white fish, and finished off with some of that strange yellow smoked fish assembled by the supermarket for a Fish Pie, a dish I enjoy very much but also very useful to those intent on the Fish Curry front just add a few prawns and bingo away you go!

This recipe is my own and one that I really enjoy making as it takes no time and can be made and left to stand, which in my opinion does much to improve it. My best advice is make the curry sauce, set aside then marinade the fish for about four hours then cook the final dish for your tea or supper. Its like it says on the label sweet and sour and for this I use Jaggery for the sweet. I love Jaggery its a very rough unrefined sugar that has a rich sweet caramel taste, if you cant get your hands on it Demerara sugar will do just as well but you may need a little more. The Tamarind comes in a jar and can be found on the shelf of the local supermarket or from your favourite Indian supplier for sure!

The What’s in it

1 tbsp. Ghee

12 Curry leaves

1tsp Fenugreek whole

1tsp Coriander whole

1tsp whole Black Peppercorns

1tsp Aniseed whole

1 red Onions

1 tsp Turmeric

3 green Chillies chopped & Deseeded

2 cloves Garlic

1 inch Ginger

3 Tomtoes chopped

2 cup(1/2Pint) Fish stock

165 ml Coconut milk

2 tsp Jaggery

1 tsp Tamarind

1/2 tsp red Chilli Powder

1 tablespoon Garam masala

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The Marinade

Place the fish and Prawns in the fridge soaking up the marinade for about 4 hours, or longer

2 tbsp. Lime juice

1tsp Ground Aniseed

1tsp Amchoor

1tsp salt

Fish

Prawns

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The How To

Heat the ghee and add the Curry leaves, fenugreek, Coriander, peppercorns, cook for a minute or so then add the onions.

Cook the onions long and slowly on a low to medium flame. I cant say it often enough take your times with the onions they are the vital ingredient and the base for much that follows.

After a good fifteen to twenty minutes and the onion is golden brown add the  chilli, garlic,  ginger, and  cook through for another five minutes or so.

Remember that once you add the Garlic and ginger the onions will not brown any more and it is this onion colour that will reflect in the final dish, so have patience.

Add the Turmeric and  Tomatoes and continue to cook through until the moisture has cooked out, at this point you can  add the fish stock, a good indicator of this is that the turmeric will be catching on the bottom of the pan

Once you add the stock the Peppercorns will float to the surface and I like to remove them picking them up with a fork an exercise that goes a long way to prove patience is a virtue!…..

Bring everything back to the boil and then stir in the Coconut milk, Jaggery, and Tamarind  and allow to reduce to a thick gravy, taste and adjust the seasoning adding the extra Chilli powder Garam Masala and Salt as you feel.

At this point I cover and set it aside make the marinade have a beer, wime fruit juice or just kick back for four hours or so, however if you have made the marinade drain the fish and prawns from the marinade and add to a hot sauce and cook the fish through this shouldn’t take more than 5 to 10 minutes before its ready to serve with whatever you fancy, Naans for me!SAM_3466

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Shevandi Kada…King Prawn and Baby Onion

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SAM_3457Two of my most favourite things in the world prawn and onion and this “nearly” traditional recipe which features both in a symphony of taste. Although you really will have to love onion to fully appreciate this recipe the sauce is unctuous  and full of the sweet and sour flavours of the Jaggery and the tamarind with chopped onion making the basis of the sauce and if that’s not enough onion for you, whole baby onions or shallots bringing a final hint of sweetness, truly delicious, and all held together with some juicy large king Prawns to bring that extra texture and taste that make for a fantastic seafood curry!

I have “demonised” the recipe as the original I was gifted essentially had no seasoning or spice and a very large glass of Goan fire water “Feni”, made from coconut or cashew nuts and in Goa & kerala where this recipe originates and available everywhere in those two provinces, however in downtown Nottingham I have to admit I couldn’t find it anywhere. The recipe also demands baby pearl onions, these may be a bit tricky to lay your hands on too but shallots will do just as good a job using the smallest you can get.

So there is no alcohol, is that a loss…. Nah don’t think so!

The What’s in it (2 persons)

5 or 6 baby onions or shallots per person

Salt to season

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3 Tablespoons Mustard oil

8 Curry leaves

1 large Onion finely chopped

1inch Ginger

1heaped teaspoon garlic paste

2 green chillies de-seeded and finely chopped

1tsp fenugreek

1tsp turmeric

1tsp Garam Masala

25oml Fish stock

2tsp Tamarind paste

1 flat tbsp Jaggery/brown sugar

1 fine chopped Tomato

1tbsp Plain yoghurt

36 pearl onions(Shallots as many as you think for 3 persons) peeled and kept whole

350 gm  RAW prawns as large as you can find, peeled and deveined

Salt to taste…..

The How To……

Peel the baby onions or shallots and boil in salted water for about fifteen minutes until soft set aside until required

Bring your mustard oil up to heat add the curry leaves, and fry for no longer than a minute or two or until the curry leaves change colour, add  the onions and fry until golden brown, take your time with this as this is the base of the sauce. Then add the green chillies, the ginger and the garlic pastes and fry for a minute or two longer until the garlic smell has dropped away. Add the Fenugreek , Turmeric and Garam masala cook for a further couple of minutes, then add 250ml fish stock, and the jaggery and Tamarind paste, the chopped tomato and reduce to a thick sauce. Finally adding the baby onions and yoghurt for the last five minutes.SAM_3455

Now you can add the prawns and cook them  through this shouldn’t take more than five minutes, serve with whatever you like to eat your Indian food with!

CHEMEEN MANGA….. Man go make curry

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   SAM_3395Fruit in curry , you know it I can’t resist it, and on this occasion I have a fantastic fruit for curry, Mango sweet and juicy that will add that little extra texture and fruity sweetness that is barely a hint on the palate yet acts upon the senses encouraging you to believe that the mango is a vegetable rather than a sweet fruit, a true sweet deception!

Don’t you just love seafood the filter feeders that are so wrong for some, yet taste so damn good, I used cooked prawn as that was all I could get my hands on at the local supermarkets on a Sunday. The cooked version worked just fine, but the raw variety would I think have been that little bit better, as Prawn requires so little cooking time and is the final addition to a sauce that can be  finished off in the moment. This recipe  is also fantastic for any other fish type that you think might benefit from a fruity addition.

The What’s in it!

Coconut oil – 1 tbsp. to fry the paste

1/2 tsp Aniseed

2 tbsp. Coconut(grated)

3 Shallots  or enough to fill 2 large tablespoons medium chopped

1 Red Onion thinly sliced

1 inch piece Ginger finely chopped

4 Cloves Garlic 

2 Green chillies – deseeded and chopped

1/2 tsp Chilly powder

1 tbsp. Coriander powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1 Mango sliced

150 gms of Prawns

 1/2 tsp Fenugreek

1/4 tsp Mustard seeds

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Ghee half Tbsp

Salt – As req’d

The how to

First things first if you have fresh prawn, lucky person is that you are ensure the prawns are deveined washed and dried.

Then take the coconut and roast it in a small amount of oil a half to one teaspoon should be enough

when the coconut is beginning to look less than raw add the shallots and the aniseed and continue to roast until golden brown in colourSAM_3393

Place in your pestle and mortar and grind to a smooth paste  and set aside yep it takes a few minutes and you could use a processor if you must, but the pleasure of the moment for me is in the effort involved and the purity of the result… if you get me!

Set aside until required

Heat your karahi to a nice even heat and fry the onions (using the rest of the oil)  until golden brown, add the green chillies garlic and ginger and fry for a minute or two longer

add the chilli coriander turmeric powders and the mango pieces…..

stir in 200 ml of fish stock or water, and salt to taste……

Add the coconut paste bring to the boil and set aside until ready to serve…….

Add the prawns five minutes or so before you’re serving and cook the prawns thoroughly

Finally just before serving make the Tempering by heating ghee then add the mustard seeds, adding the fenugreek and the curry leaves when the mustard seeds are all a splutter, then add the whole lot to your curry…… job done…… enjoy!

SAM_3394

Tripping the Sweet Fantastic…… Bengali Tuna kali

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 SAM_3380I know I’m not alone as someone who eats very little meat, loves fish and suffers with a lack of not enough recipes  that feature a different fish taste. However this dish hits the spot offering  a curry that is rich with the flavour of onions fried in a caramel oil giving the whole dish a sweetness that I have not experienced anywhere else. This sweetness balances a citrus note with the Tuna being marinated in lemon juice and turmeric, and then fried creating something  sumptuous and rich in Indian flavouring.

The sauce or gravy is unctuous and based around those wonderful onions and tomatoes. I have used Tuna in my dish but Monkfish or any firm fleshed fish will do a fine job…

This is also my first offering from  Bengal that area in the Northeast of the Indian subcontinent; today it is split as West Bengal and Bangladesh and its food offerings reflect its coastal regions and Mangrove swamps where the Bengal tigers roam free. This is a truly smashing curry and one that is high up there for me in the popularity stakes easy to cook and prepare and delivering in all the mighty oceans that float my curry boat!

The Whats in IT

Serves 3 hungry mouths…….

Prep and cooking time about an hour!

675 gm Tuna or Monkfish

2tbsp lemon juice

1tsp salt

40gm plain flour

.25 tsp ground black pepper

4 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp jaggery

1 Large Red onion finely Chopped

1tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 tbsp fresh garlic

1tsp Ground coriander

.5 tsp chilli powder

1 small tin chopped tomatoes

300 ml fish stock

2 tbsp fresh coriander

The How To

Cut the fish into 3 inch pieces and place in  large bowl

Add the lemon juice and sprinkle with half the salt and half the turmeric

Mix gently

Leave to marinade for between 15 and 30 minutes

Pour enough oil into a frying pan to cover it to a depth of half an inch and heat over a medium heat

Mix the flour and pepper and dust the fish with the seasoned flourSAM_3376

Add to the oil and fry until browned on both sides and a light crust has formed, being careful not to overcook the fish

Set aside to drain on kitchen roll

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Heat 4 tbsp of oil or ghee in a karahi to a high temperature but not smoking

Add the jaggery/sugar and allow it to caramelise, you can recognise this by the wonderful toffee smell

As soon as this happen add the onions , ginger and garlic and fry for about seven or eight minutes or until the onions begin to brown, remembering to stir constantly for an even cook

Add the ground coriander, chilli powder, and the remaining turmeric.

Fry off for about 30 seconds and then add the tomatoes….

Cook this until the tomatoes are well cooked through and the oil begins to separate out , remembering to stir constantly

Add some of the fish stock and bring to the boil and reduce to a thick gravy, continue doing this until all of the stock has been used add salt to taste

then carefully add the fried fish simmer for a minute and then turn off the heat and leave to stand for a further minute or two then serve, the fish should be heated through but not overcooked!SAM_3378

Cookin wid the Green stuff…..Curry in a hurry!

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SAM_3387 A lot of what goes on in Indian food is quite complex and sometimes more than a little fiddly, meaning that preparing something tasty and fast is a non starter well that’s what you might think but that is simply not true one of the great gems to have in your fridge is a green Masala  a preparation that is exactly what it says on the label and one that that will allows you to create the highly edible very quickly.

I have touched upon the Daag in previous articles being that staple of the restaurant, well this will do the same job for those busy people wanting curry in a hurry this is a similar preparation that is perhaps even quicker as this takes less time to prepare and will keep for several weeks in the fridge. there are a fairly large number of chillies in this and yep it has a kick like a mule if you use too much, you can experiment but remember the mantra less is more and add the paste to the level you like… let me present something to you that you won’t find in the resaraunt but you will find in most hard pressed Indian cooks fridge, and more importantly if kept in an air tight container with the addition of  vinegar the green will keep for several weeks…..

Green Masala paste……SAM_3383

Fresh Coriander leaves: 1 small bunchSAM_3384
Mint leaves: a few
Ginger:.1 inch piece
Garlic: 5 large cloves
Green chillies: 4
Pepper corns: 1tsp
Cumin seeds: 2 tsps
Coriander seeds: 2 tsps
Cinnamon: 2 inch piece
Cloves: 5 nos.
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp


Method:
1. Wash coriander leaves and take off leaves. Dry well on a clean cloth.
2. Clean and mince finely both the  ginger and garlic.
3. Remove stems of green chillies.
4. Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste using a little water. Green masala is ready for use .SAM_3385
5. For a larger quantity (if bottling) multiply all the recipe ingredients ( X5/X10 times) . Prepare as above Steps 1-3. Grind in a diluted solution of vinegar (2 tbsps concentrated vinegar in a cup of water). Use  diluted vinegar as required to make a thick paste)

Having got your green paste together sitting in the fridge and staring at you wondering what its future will be. That moment arrives when there is that knock at the door and friendly forces come into land, and as you must always do in situations such as this; feed the strangers with something hale and hearty.

You don’t have all night , you don’t even have an hour but you do have the Green Masala paste, a little white fish, an onion, and a few prawns, a small tin of coconut milk, and a fish stock cube in 250ml of warm water, and with those few simple ingredients bring on the

Green seafood curry

Chop the onion nice and fine and fry it until its just starting to go towards the brown, stir in two Tablespoons (which is just about what you will have made if you followed the above paste recipe) into the onions, keep stirring for about a minute and add a little fish stock if needed to keep things from sticking, once the paste is mixed through the onions and looks like it belongs add the rest of the stock, and the coconut milk; bring the sauce to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and reduce the sauce for about ten minutes. Then add the fish, turn up the heat bringing it to the boil, throw in the prawns cover and remove from the heat and allow it to stand for a few minutes. Then serve, result very happy guestsSAM_3388

My Kofta period… a Load of balls really

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SAM_3366 Like artists, all chefs and cooks I believe have phases and periods in that at certain times they like to cook certain things. It is a way to learn and develop ideas and disciplines that assist in the greater understanding of the food we eat. Currently I am very interested in balls of whatever flesh in sauce, I have over the last couple of months done some lamb Koftas in a Green sauce(click), and most recently some chicken koftas (Click) in what could best be described as a masala sauce . Today I’m going for the Fish Koftas, or to be titled correctly as Machhalli Ke kofte, and like all kofta they only really come into their own if accompanied by a beautiful spicey  and unctuous sauce.

This is a fantastic dish for that Saturday supper.(click) You can pretty much use whatever fish you like or can get hold of but here in England Colley or Cod are two good suggestions I’ve also added some white crab meat  in for good measure for that extra texture , mainly because I like crab and that the crab will bring an additional sweetness to the dish.  Again I promise you a delicious dish that will light the table up as something that is that little bit different.

There are a complex list of ingredients , don’t be too afraid they are all pretty standard ingredients that you should be able to pick up in any good indian supermarket, and they are all ingredients that you will use again so don’t be scared get in there its a lovely dish that will make your taste buds Zing!

There’s enough here to feed two hungry people

Machhalli Ke kofte

What’s in them

240ml whole milk

2 cardamom pods the green lightly crushed

1 black cardamom

.25 tsp turmeric ground

.25tsp cumin ground

500 gm white fish

3 tbsp. white crab meat

1 large potato cooked and diced whatever is good for mashing in your corner of the world

2 tsp desiccated coconut

6 shallots

1 tsp roughly chopped ginger

1 large green chilli deseeded and very finely chopped

2-3 tbsp. chopped coriander

1 tsp roasted cumin seeds crushed

1tbsp gram flour

fresh ground black pepper

1 egg beaten

veg oil to deep fry!

The how to make them bit…

The first thing you need to do is gently poach the fish by placing the cardamom pods, turmeric and ground cumin in a saucepan with the milk and bring to the boil. Place the fish in the milk and allow to poach on a low heat for three minutes. Then Drain and discard the liquid and spices , place the fish in a bowl to cool and set aside, add 1 large tablespoon of the crab when cooled.

Blend the Shallots, ginger, green chilli, and garlic to a smooth paste in a processor with a tbsp. of water, then add this to the fish bringing it all together with the potato and coconut and finally the beaten egg and enough of the flour to bring the koftas together into  balls that are holding together in their own right. Use your hands for this part not a blender as your hands will bring the right texture to the Koftas  so knead all of the ingredients together and form into balls of fishy delight that are no bigger than a ping pong ball. If the mixture is overly sticky, moisten your hands a little with some water. Place the kofta’s  in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to cool before frying.

You can choose to fry them off before you make the sauce or after the choice is yours; I chose to fry first and warm through in the sauce later as I wanted the Koftas to pick up some of the essence of the sauce.SAM_3364

Now is the time to fry you can deep fry or shallow it matters not just use  a medium heat and cook until they are a nice golden brown .  That’s Job done for the koftas you now need a lovely unctious sauce to go with them and that is for sure what follows….

The saucieness

1 large tbsp. Ghee or  veg oil

10 curry leaves

1 tsp Cumin seeds

3 cardamom

1 tsp brown mustard seed

2 medium red onions sliced

3 green Chillies de-seeded and rough chopped

4 plump Garlic cloves rough chopped

0.5 tsp Cumin Powder

0.5 tsp Coriander Powder

1 Tsp Garam masala

0.5 tsp Turmeric powder

Small tin chopped Tomatos( 200gm ish)

2 tsp Tamarind pulp

1 tbsp. white crab meat

1 Heaped teaspoon Jaggery/ or brown Sugar

200ml fish stock

200ml Coconut milk

A drizzle of yoghurt to finish

Salt to taste

Heat the oil in your chosen pan and add the brown mustard seed, Cumin seeds, cardamom, curry leaves, and fry until the mustard seeds are popping and a spluttering then add the onions and fry until they are a lovely dark golden brown this takes time at least ten minutes and in some cases more so be patient stirring often and don’t allow the onions to burn that patience should extend until the onions reach the browning level you desire  you can then add the ginger and the garlic, and never before as once you add the ginger and garlic all browning of the onions will cease. While you are waiting for the onions to reach that wonderful golden brown take all the spice powders that’s the Cumin ,Coriander, Garam masala and turmeric powders and add a little water to mix them to a fine paste and add them to the onions and when you do, keep stirring vigorously to stop them catching on the bottom of the pan, add a little water or stock f that happens, and that should loosen them off.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook on a low to medium heat for about 5 minutes, you can also add the tamarind and the jiggery; stirring from time to time before adding as much fish stock as to make a gravy slightly thinner than you would serve at…. This is down to you because it is at this  point you add the fish balls, and they will absorb the sauce they are in; then add  the last of the crab meat for the final couple of minutes of cooking just to heat the Kofta through and reduce the sauce down to how you like your sauces to be.SAM_3365

I’m serving this with some Red onion and Sweet potato Pakoras (recipe to follow) and of course Naan as is my want serve rice if you prefer…..

Salmon and King Prawn Pathia .. Go on spoil the one you love!

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 SAM_2969 First things first this isn’t a budget recipe and therefore not one for the kids, Prawns and Salmon are not cheap where I come from, but the food police tell me the Salmon is good for me lots of Omega 5 whatever that is brain stuff I’m reliably informed. Fish wherever you buy it these days is not a cheaper option than meat that’s for sure but for those of us of a pescatorial persuasion such as I and Mrs Demonology, fish is the protein of choice.

This is a fantastic recipe none the less, delicious and as such one that should be reserved for the one that you love most in the world, they whoever they may be will not fail to be impressed by how deep the sauce flavouring is; so full of flavours and textures that bring the mouth alive in an explosion of curryness……., and further you will win never ending praise for your cooking prowess……… men take note, score big points with this one:)

Although the spicing ingredients are fairly complex it isn’t a tricky dish to cook, but as with all good recipes all you really need to do is ensure that you have assembled the ingredients before you light the stove; and just in case you thought there was a mistake there is no ginger in this recipe all the heat comes from the chillies and to be honest it’s hot and spicy enough enough with a  sauce  on the thick side, sourness coming from the tamarind, and a sweetness from the Jaggery just for good measure. Get those flavours how you like it and “POW” a fantastic dish and taste sensation for sure. Honestly though it may sound complex but its not…….

This dish serves 2 persons….

Whats in it

12 good sized raw Prawns peeled and deveined

2 Salmon steaks

2 tsp Tamarind pulp

4 green Chillies de-seeded and rough chopped

4 plump Garlic cloves rough chopped

1 tsp Cumin seeds

50ml (2 Fl oz ) veg oil

2large Onions Finely Chopped

0.5 tsp Cumin Powder

0.5 tsp Coriander Powder

1 tsp Red Chilli powderSAM_2962

1 Tsp Garam masala

0.5 tsp Turmeric powder

Small tin chopped Tomatoes( 200gm ish)

1 Heaped teaspoon Jaggery/ or brown Sugar

200ml fish stock

10 curry leaves

A drizzle of yoghurt to finish

Salt to taste

The How to

The first job here is to deseed the green chilles, and grind them together into a paste with the 4 garlic cloves and the cumin seeds…..SAM_2959

Heat the oil in your chosen pan and fry the onions until they are a nice golden brown colour at that point add the garlic, chilli paste, and fry off for a further couple of minutes…

At this point it is safe to add all those spices the cumin , coriander, red chilli, garam masala, and turmeric powders, and stir constantly for about a minute, you might need to add a drizzle of water here too just to stop the spices catching on the pan, then add the chopped tomatoes and cook on a low to medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time…..

Add half the tamarind , all the jaggery/brown sugar and the curry leaves, and salt to taste…. Now you need to bring your palate into play and balance the dish to how you like it!

Add more tamarind if you think it needs more sour, or sugar/ Jaggery for the sweet, be carefull though and remember sometimes less is more. Don’t add anymore salt for the moment as the fish stock may well bring some saltiness to the recipe.

Add the fish stock in small amounts and simmer your finished sauce for about 5 minutes or until the sauce reduces to a consistency that in your opinion is little wetter than you would serve it at,  but wet enough to cook the fish through bearing in mind that you have about 10 to 15  minutes of cooking time left…

At this point add the Salmon SAM_2966cover and cook for about 8 minutes on a simmer level of cooking, if it is a little dry during the cooking of the fish you can add a little more stock, coating the salmon flesh with the sauce, then  turn the salmon over after the eight minutes and cook for a further five minutes or until the salmon is cooked and flaking nicely, adding the prawns about 4 minutes before you serve , remember that the prawnsSAM_2967

literally need no more than a couple of minutes so these should be added at the very end, the sauce should be nice and thick and unctuous when the ready to serve, finally add a little more salt if you thinks it needs it.

Add a drizzle of yoghurt when its on the plate and serve with rice Naans or traditionally Daal, whatever you like……SAM_2970Enjoy!