Tag Archives: coconut

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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Fish & potatoes……Putting it inconveniently

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Ok I admit it… Yes I do have some weaknesses and sometimes convenience wins over pure gastronomic excellence that my kitchen is reputed to be famous for.  Fish fingers, sausages, burgers and the very occasional pizza too, can also be seen at those times when I or Mrs Demonology just can’t be bothered .  Yep I use convenience foods!

I have a busy life just like you, and sometimes I really can’t be bothered to peel onion and grate ginger; so give me convenience, with something that takes five minutes to eat and even less to prepare, meaning I am also not a stranger to the microwave meal when the going gets really tough.  Although I do draw a line under that one by saying that my microwave meals are, as a general rule, coming from the chiller cabinet and when I do grab an Indian dish at this level it’s always of the fresh variety, and generally of very good quality considering it is daag based!

I don’t make my own pasta either, and can’t stand the dried variety, so confessions over, I am no stranger to convenience food. Fresh pasta bought from the aforementioned chiller cabinet at the local supermarket, boiled for five minutes with a nice sauce microwaved for less than the pasta’s five minutes boil time, a shaving or two of parmesan and job done, convenience food!

I was raised through the fifties and sixties and through that period the introduction of convenience foods became the norm, with the very famous VESTA being a curry that you just needed to add water too – ah I can feel myself salivating at the thought – and in all honesty was probably one of the reasons that I developed a love for the taste textures and myriad delights that are curry.

I am not afraid to say that not all convenience foods are bad or unhealthy, as the years have rolled by and the pressures of modern life have come to the fore; the day of the woman being chained to the stove and cooking her man a meal on his return from a busy day at the coal face are pretty much over with the nuclear family very much the norm today ensuring a place for the “Convenience foods” appearing to be the menu of choice for a great many people.

That said, there are a great number of convenience foods that are simply there as a shortcut in life.  For instance, boil in the bag fish. Stick it into a pan of boiling water as the name suggests and Pow you have a “nice” piece of fish in a sauce, serve that with a pile of smooth buttered mash and a few garden peas and deliciousness awaits you, this is the comfort food of my youth. This plate of food I offer here is an homage to that; and the reasoning for all of the above inane ramblings in that this dish it is essentially fish and potatoes, but it is far from tricky to put together and it is also a long way from convenient, so sharpen your peeler, and dust off your measuring spoons its time to cook inconveniently!

This plate of food is a fusion of flavours from Hyderabad where the fish recipe originates and the potato dish  from Awadhi; uniting together to become the Indian cousin of the fish and potatoes I was rattling on about before, although varied slightly in that the cold water Mackerel, the fish of choice here that is found swimming round the coasts of this great island in its tens of thousands,  which however is not to be found in the Arabian sea or the Indian ocean so the fish I have used is local, and for those of you from pastures other than Northern Europe use any firm oily fish, so its all yours to enjoy as I have already!

This is a recipe for two to three persons, and I have laid it out so that it can be easily followed but as with all my recipes get yourself as prepared as you can before you light the stove!

To give it its Indian name…… for those of you that like to get your gums round that sort of thing

Shai Dum Ki machhali & Aloo Qorma

Preparing the Fish

500 gm Mackerel or similar oily firm fish

Marinade how to! 

1 tblsp fresh chopped Coriander

1 tblsp fresh chopped mint

4 green Chillies de-seeded and slit lengthways

1 tblsp. garlic pasteSAM_3044

1tblsp ginger paste

1 tsp ground turmericSAM_3045

Put all of the above in a blender or pestle and mortar and grind to a fine consistency, rub the marinade into the fish, cover and place in the fridge for an hour minimum and a couple of hours for the best results

Whilst the marinade is doing its thing, it’s time to make up the following paste in which to cook the fishSAM_3046

The Paste Thing!SAM_3049

1 tbsp. roasted and ground cumin

1 tbsp. desiccated coconut

3 tsp sesame seeds

3 tsp Poppy seeds

Place the cumin, coconut, sesame and poppy seeds into a blender or pestle and mortar and grind to a smooth paste use a little water if required ….cover and set aside until required

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The whats in the Aloo qorma (Potato Curry)

1 kg Potato peeled and quartered.. used Maris Piper, a nice fluffy potato when cooked.

1/4 tsp Ground Turmeric

1 tsp poppy seeds

1 inch fresh ginger Peeled

1tsp ground garlic

1tbsp Cashew Nuts

1tbsp desiccated coconut

4.5 fl oz .5 cup Ghee or Vegetable oil

2 green cardamom pods

2 inch Cinnamon stick

2 cloves

4 green Chillies

1 small tin chopped tomato

1/2 tsp Red chilli powder

8 fl oz 1 cup Natural plain Yoghurt

2 tblsp chopped fresh coriander

Juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes

After the fish has marinated, and before you are ready to cook the final dish, first boil the potatoes in a saucepan for about 15 minutes with the Turmeric, until just cooked bearing in mind that you will be finishing them off a little later….drain and set aside

Grind the poppy-seed, ginger, garlic, cashew nuts, and coconut in a pestle and mortar and set aside ready to bring the whole potato dish together whilst the fish is cooking

The final stage for the Fish

2 Onions finely chopped

300 ml fish or vegetable stock

1 tsp Turmeric

juice of 1 lemon

Take the two medium onions and some ghee or oil and fry the onions until light brown.  Add a tsp of turmeric and the spice paste and fry for a few minutes longer, drain off any excess oil, add the lemon juice, and vegetable stock bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about fifteen minutes until reduced,  then set aside until required…

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F Gas mark 7

Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the fish and fry lightly for a few minutes

Place the fish carefully into a shallow dish and add the sauce. Cover tightly with a lid or foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the fish is cooked to your liking!

Now the fish is in the oven prepare the potato as followsSAM_3053

Heat the oil or ghee in a heavy base pan.

Add the whole spices and chillies and fry for a minute or two.

Add all the ground spices and fry for another minute or two

Add the chopped tomatoes and the boiled potato and cook for a further minute or two, season with salt.

Add the chilli powder and yoghurt, Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes more to heat the potato right through (ensure the potato is cooked)

Add the chopped coriander and remove the pan from the heat finally adding the lemon juice….

Serve with the fish and think of India on a warm summers evening, oh bliss……

Prawn Malabar

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 This is one of my most favourite dishes in that you make a sauce before a prawn goes anywhere near it , and although this recipe calls for prawn which go in peeled and raw you could use any fish, or maybe even some Chicken!

This is just a cracking sauce that tastes fantastic whatever you might choose to put with it, spicey hot with loads of chilli, or none at all it ticks all the boxes and if I wa only ever to have one sauce it would be this one.

This dish originates from Kerala where a lot of the dishes I “Like a lot” come from, and am due to visit in February of the new year!

Ingredients

14floz(400ml) Coconut milk

2 Tbsp Desicated or fresh coconut, soaked in a little warm water

1 Tbsp Tamarind Pulp

3Tbsp Oil

.25 tsp Mustard Seeds

15 -20 Curry LeavesSAM_2904

1 large Onion Sliced

1 inch squre Ginger Grated

3 Cloves Garlic

4 Green Chillies deseeded and slit lenthways

1 Kashniri Dried Red Chilli

1 tsp Chilli Powder

.5 Tsp Turmeric

.5 tsp Coriander powder

.5 tsp Cumin Powder

2 medium finely chopped tomatoes

.5 tsp Salt

300g(11oz) uncooked peeled prawns

2 Tbsp Ghee

2 Shallots

Method

First things first , fry off the Mustard seeds until they are popping all over your cooker top, add the Curry leaves, and after a few seconds of allowing their flavour into the oil, add the sliced Onions and saute, stirring continuosly for 5 to 7 minutes, add the Ginger,Garlic and Green Chillies, and stir fry for a further two or three minutes, add the dried Red Chilli and the Chilli Powder, Turmeric, Coriander and Cumin powders, add a couple of teaspoons of water stirring for a couple of minutes longer.

Add the chopped Tomatoes, 100ml of water, and the Tamarind pulp, turn the heat down and allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste…

Now add the solid cream from the Coconut Milk and continue to cook the sauce adding a little of the coconut water from the tin and reducing the sauce to a consistency that you feel is right for you

What you now have in front of you now is the finished sauce and its make your mind up time. Personally I like my sauce a little smoother than this so I allow to cool and either use a hand blender to smooth it down or pour it into the processor and blitz it for a few moments. At this point you can return to the heat bring up to a simmering heat and reduce the sauce  for a further 5 to 10 minutes adding the Prawns for the last couple of minutes,  as that is all they will take to cook!SAM_2905

To add the final touch to this fine curry and raise it to the heavens, heat the Ghee on a high heat in a ladle or small saucepan,add the sliced Shallots, wait for a few seconds and then add a few Curry leaves, cook for a minute or two more, and pour over the top of the curry just before serving .

Serve with Rice or a Nann and enjoy!

Phool Makhani Curry

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This is a fantastic little veggie curry that again takes very little time to prepare and cook, Phool Makhani are Puffed Lotus Seeds, which you can buy from your nearest Indian supermarket cooked in a spiced and creamy Coconut gravy, to make something that is both different and tasty.

Prep Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 20 mins Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:
2-3 cups Phool Makhani/Puffed Lotus Seeds
1 large Onion, finely chopped
2 large Tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Garam Masala
1-2 tbsp Sugar (Adjust acc to taste)
Small bunch of Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp Oil + Oil for Deep Frying
Salt to taste
Ground to Smooth Paste: ½-¾ cup Coconut
1 tbsp Cashews
1 tbsp Poppy Seeds/Khus-Khus, dry roasted till light golden
1 inch Cinnamon Stick
3 Cloves
3 Green Cardamoms
1 inch Ginger, peeled
Method:
The first step here is to deep fry the phool Makhani until they turn a light golden brown in colour, if you dont want to deep fry them you can shallow fry in a frying pan with a little oil, adding a little salt and chilli powder at the end. When golden brown place them on some kitchen roll to drain and cool.
Grind the cashews,roasted poppy seeds, cardamom, cloves, ginger and coconut to a smooth paste using and adding a little water to moisten the paste. this does take some time but is well worth the effort for the end Result.
Heat some oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds, once they start  to sizzle and pop, add the finely chopped onion, and saute til they turn a rich golden brown.
Now mix in the the ground paste and stir, stir, stir, until the masala paste turns light brown and becomes dry!
Now add the finely chopped tomatoes, garam malasa, sugar and give it all a good stir until tomatoes turn pulpy, that takes about 2-3 minutes.  Now add around 1½-2 cups of water and a little salt to taste.  This is your base gravy and you should continue to cook this on medium-low heat for about 10 mins, stirring every minute or so, until the sauce thickens to a consistency of a thick gravy.
Now you can  add fried phool makhani and mix well,  adding little more water if needed depending on required consistency, continue to cook on low heat for another 3-5 minutes. Mix in finely chopped coriander leaves and serve this delicious Phool Makhani Curry with roti, chapatis or rice of your choice.
Afterthought
I like my curries to have a chilli belt,a smack that lets you know that it is exactly what it says on the label Curry!
 Just add in .5 teaspoon of your hottest red chilli powder into the final mix at the point you add the phool mekhani, gives you that curry heat and rounds off the colour nicely!
And for those of you that like a bit of meat with your food cook yourself some Tandoori chicken  to go with it , a perfect companion

Tamatar Bhatkalikura

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Sometimes I just get home from the office and I want a dish that’s only going to take me a few moments to prepare and one that will explode the old taste buds, fill the stomach, and remind me just why I love curry…Its just about as vegetarian as it gets, and will make you wonder if you ever need to eat meat again.

Try this fantastic little dish easy to prepare tasty and easy to eat soft to medium Chilli heat, and something that can be prepared and left to stand for up to 12 hours,  maturing like a fine wine when reheated, alternatively can be made in no time, and eaten when ready!

Tomato (Tamatar)

Tomato (Tamatar) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tamatar Bhatkalikura (that’s Tomato curry with Coconut and Spinach)

300ml Vegetable Stock

8 Medium Tomatoes  rough chopped

2 Green Chillies deseeded and chopped

6 Curry Leaves

1 Medium Onion rough chopped

Salt to taste

2 Tsp Tomato Puree

2 cloves Garlic Finely chopped

2.5 cm sq Ginger, finely chopped

1tsp Ground Cumin

1tsp Turmeric

3 tablespoons desiccated or fresh Coconut

45gm Baby Spinach, chopped

 

For the TEMPER

1tsp Mustard Seeds

1 Medium Onion chopped

0.5 tsp Chilli Powder

1tbsp (approx) Ghee or Veg oil

 

Method

Bring the Veg stock (and yes you can use an oxo cube) to the boil, add the tomatoes, chillies, curry leaves, and onion, season with salt.  Add the Tomato Puree after 10 minutes, then reduce the heat slightly.

Continue to boil and reduce the liquid for about another 15-20 minutes.

Add the garlic, chopped ginger, ground cumin, turmeric and coconut, and finally the spinach, then continue to simmer until the moisture has evaporated…

That’s it, how difficult is that all you need now is the tempering…….

Tempering

Heat the ghee or the oil in a large frying pan, I prefer Ghee as this brings a richer taste to the dish but for those on a health kick then Veg oil is fine, throw in the mustard seeds and when the seeds start to pop, add the chopped onion and the chilli powder.  Fry for about 5-7 minutes or until the onions are golden brown……Pour over the tomatoes and cover until served, to hold in that awesome aroma…..

On those days I am really tired I will serve this on a Peshwari Naan in the style of tomatoes on toast and the sweet element of that particular Naan compliments the curry –  wonderfully delicious.

Alternative with plain white rice is just as good….

Chicken In Cashew Nut Sauce

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Chicken In Cashew Nut Sauce

This is a fantastic Clasical recipe beware it takes a lot of time to prepare but is worth every second, producing a true fantastic nutty smooth rich sauce, adored by the Maharajas and worth every second it takes to prepare…..

Ingredients

250g Cashew Nuts

100g Veg Oil

2 Onions Chopped + 0.5 of an Onion Finely sliced

12 Garlic Cloves Whole

2.5cm Root Ginger Chopped

2.5 tsp Coriander Seeds

1.5 tsp  Cumin Seeds

4 Dried red Chillies

6 cloves

8cm Cinnamon stick

100g Coconut

Salt

2 Green Chillies finely chopped

1kg Chicken highs

3 tbsp Yogurt

The first thing you need to do here is put  100g of the cashew nuts into a bowl and cover with just enough water for them to soak up. Leave em alone for two hours, Drain and chuck em in a blender or food processor, add a little warm water and blitz em til they are smooth paste….Set Aside

Place a further 25g of the Cashews in a small pan and dry roast them til they are golden brown…. Set aside

With a small amount of oil in a frying Pan take the .5 of the onion and fry until it is crispy and golden brown, set aside and use as a garnish just before you serve!

In a large Frying pan/ or cooking pot, dry roast the Garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried chillies, cloves, and cinnamon over a low heat for five minutes stirring all the time, Add the coconut, 75g more of the nuts and the chopped onion and roast for a further 10 minutes stirring continuously taking care not to allow the mixture to burn, but allowing the coconut to gently brown….remove from the heat and allow to cool

Grind the mixture in a food processor  adding 125 to 250ml of water to a very smooth consistency this takes time , and is vital so be aware that if it is not done well the sauce will taste gritty so blend for at least ten minutes maybe longer!

Heat The remaining oil in a large pot add the blended spice mixture and fry for 10 minutes over a low heat.

Add the ground Cashew Paste and fry for a further two minutes, add some salt to taste, and the green Chillies

Increase the heat to medium high and add the chicken pieces Fry for a further Five minutes until the chicken is sealed and looking white rather than pink, then add the remaining untoasted cashews, and stir fry for a minute or two longer, then add about 600ml of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

Top it off with a dollop of yogurt and the crispy onion you prepared earlier serve and enjoy …..

This recipe should serve 4 easily with a generous portion each……