Tag Archives: Fish

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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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

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…..

Meen Kozhambu(Saucy Fish Curry)

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One of the great pleasures of curry for me is Sauce a truly rich curry well cooked with lashings of sauce that can be soaked up in the rice or naan and still have more to spare is perhaps one of my greatest joys and this recipe is just that saucy!

It will take an hour or so to cook and prepare and will serve 4 to 6 so get your chums round and enjoy this easy to cook and prepare curry explosion!

Ingredients

4 tabsp Veg oil

1tsp Black Mustard Seeds

1 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds

2 or 3 Red Kashmiri Chillies

3 medium Onions sliced

2 tbsp crushed fresh Ginger

2 tbsp crushed Garlic

2 sprigs Curry Leaves, or 10 to 15 dried

1 tbsp ground Turmeric

2 tsp red Chilli powder

4 Tomatoes roughly chopped

1 tbspTamarind paste

1Kg 2.25 Lb firm fish fillets skinned and cut into strips

1 Cup Coconut Cream

juice .5 Lemon

Salt to taste

Method

As usual heat the oil in a heavy pan over a medium heat,adding the Black Mustard seeds and wait for the crackle, that should be about a minute or so, Add the Fenugreek Seeds and stir fry until they turn light golden brown:Now the Red chillies whole, when the chillies turn that deep dark golden brown that only they can do, add the onions, saute for about a minute, adding the crushed Ginger and Garlic and cooking for a further 2 minutes, that should be enough time for them to release their flavours.

Now add the Curry leaves Turmeric and chilli Powder, season with salt and cook for a further 30 seconds or so!

Now is the time to add the chopped Tomatoes which will need about 5 minutes cooking time , or until they soften, adding in the Tamarind paste at this time, and giving it all a good stir

Now is the ti9me to add the fish fillets, now cover and cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through, add the coconut cream, bring the whole dish up to serving temperature

Add the Lemon juice and serve….

and as we say round here jobs a gooden!

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!