Showing posts with label Indian Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian Food. Show all posts

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Kerala Fish Stew with Lime and Curry Leaves (and Potatoes & Peas) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I stopped by Whole Foods the other night to drop something off to my friend and we ended up shopping together. Since I knew I would be making an Indian dish this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs, I checked the local produce aisle to see if they had any fresh curry leaves and ended up with a large bag. Luckily, Natalie took some from me because, although they can be dried or frozen, they are always better fresh.


I looked to Madhur Jaffrey for a soup recipe that used curry leaves but ended up going with a Kerala Fish Stew with Lime and Curry Leaves from Nigel Slater. I liked the combination of the cardamom, lime and curry leaves. I did make a couple of changes, adding some small potatoes and frozen peas (I have been craving samosas I guess!) and adding more broth and coconut milk to make it soupier. I used two kinds of local fish, kajiki and shutome--both mild, firm white fish that held up well. 


Nigel Slater says, “Curry leaves, coriander, coconut, tamarind and limes. These are the tart, cooling flavours you expect further east, yet a Keralan fish stew may be scented with them all. The fish in the market is good enough, the usual Indian blue-grey pomfret, giant eel and the area's famous prawns - after all we are not far from the sea - but we can do better. Down by the sea, past the fishing boats at Cochin, you can also buy it from the boats down by the harbour in Cochin.

Kerala Fish Stew
Slightly adapted from Nigel Slater via TheGuardian.com
(Feeds 4 to 6)

750g (about 1.5 lbs) mixed fish, such as haddock, mullet (I used local kajiki {blue marlin} and shutome (broadbill swordfish)
a little turmeric
juice of a lime
3 Tbsp of coconut, vegetable or groundnut oil
an onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 large, or 6 small green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
a piece of ginger as big as your thumb, peeled and finely grated
6 green cardamoms
20 fresh curry leaves

(I added about 1 lb small yellow potatoes, sliced)
(I added 2 cups light veggie stock)
(I added 1 cup frozen peas, thawed)
400ml tin (15 oz can)  coconut milk (I used 2 cans)
rice to serve

Rinse the fish, taking care to remove any loose scales or bones. Pat it dry with kitchen paper, put it in a shallow dish and dust with a couple of pinches of turmeric and the same of salt. Squeeze over the lime juice and set aside for half an hour or so.

Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan, adding the onion as it warms. Cook over a low to moderate heat until the onion is soft, stirring from time to time, then add the chillies, garlic and ginger, continuing till all has softened.

Break open the cardamom pods, crush the seeds slightly, and add them to the onion mixture with the curry leaves. Stir in the coconut milk and an equal amount of water. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, making sure it does not boil. (It will curdle if it does.)

Cut the fish into large, meaty chunks then slide them into the sauce. Let it cook gently, barely bubbling, until tender and easily parted from its skin or bone. This will take about 4 or 5 minutes depending on the thickness and variety of your fish. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice or salt as you wish.


Notes/Results: I really love this soup, the curry and cardamon give it an exotic flavor--not curry, but fragrant and aromatic, while the lime, chilies and coconut give it an almost Thai vibe. I used three large jalapenos and seeded, it was just spicy enough for me without overpowering the dish. I forgot to make rice, so served it with a microwave lime-coconut rice.I will happily make this again.


Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs for Cuisine Spotlight: Indian!

 
Let's take a look in the in the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Debra of Eliot's Eats shared this Quick Salad, inspired by By Invitation Only by Dorthea Benton Frank. She says, "Being the only cook in the family, Shelby brings “two bags of prewashed romaine lettuce to make a salad, with cherry tomatoes and a container of mini-mozzarella balls in water” (176). On the following page, she describes her recipe. ... This salad, however, was a great light Sunday lunch for us. I paired it with some balsamic-butter toasted pretzel buns. (More about that butter later—I’m still perfecting it.)"
 


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared her Kitchen Clean Out Salad, saying "This salad is from scavenging in the fridge.  Best soups and salads come out from those forages. Here I used butter lettuce, some baby spinach, cucumber, chopped yellow bell pepper, grape tomatoes and a bit of rotisserie chicken. This was hauled off to lunch as I am still dragging myself in for a bit longer. While I enjoy lunch I prop up my Kindle and read. The life of a Government Drone."


Thanks to Debra and Tina for joining in this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...
 

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Red Lentil and Tofu Dal: Simple & Nourishing for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

A nourishing bowl of red lentil dal this week, with added protein from tofu cubes. Stirring in a spiced oil adds flavor to this simple vegan soup.


Gourmet says, "In India, lentils, along with other dried legumes such as peas and beans, are called dals, and the word also refers to the dishes made from them. The creamy consistency is enhanced by the addition of tender cubes of tofu, which are remarkably similar in texture and color to paneer, a mild fresh Indian cheese that's often added to dals."

Red Lentil and Tofu Dal
Slightly Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook, Edited by Ruth Reichl
(Serves 4)

4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced 
2 tsp finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger 
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
6-7 cups water or broth (I used a veggie no-chicken broth)
1 lb firm tofu
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala or curry powder
salt to taste
generous pinch of cayenne (I used Aleppo pepper)
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro
cooked rice to serve

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over moderate heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden. Add ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add lentils and broth, bring to a just a boil, and gently boil, uncovered, until lentils fall apart, about 20 minutes. Remove heat and keep warm, covered.

Meanwhile, rinse tofu and trim ends. Cut tofu into 12-inch cubes and gently press between paper towels to remove excess moisture. (Note: I pressed my tofu block overnight, then cut it into cubes.

Heat remaining oil in a small heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until a shade darker, about 1 minute. Add garam masala, salt, and cayenne and cook, stirring until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds.

Stir hot spice oil into lentils, then gently stir in the tofu cubes. Let curry stand, covered, for 5 minutes to allow flavors to develop, then stir in cilantro and salt to taste. Serve with rice.


Notes/Results: It's not the prettiest or most glamorous soup out there but it definitely smelled great cooking and tasted even better. I liked the creamy chucks of tofu in with the dal. I added a bit more liquid than the recipe called for but since dal tends to thicken when it sits, I think I won't have to add more liquid when I reheat it for lunches.It recommends to serve the dal with rice which makes for filling meal. I would happily make it again. 


Linking up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is Global Delights. Ruth Reichl recipes with a global flare.


Now let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here:


Beth Fish Reads, host of the fabulous Weekend Cooking shared a tasty Farro Waldorf Salad and said, "The good news is that with Trader Joe's 10-minute farro, I was able to put this salad together in a snap. And because I used powdered (and reconstituted) buttermilk for the dressing, I wasn't stuck with a bottle of leftovers. The main thing I did differently was to use regular raisins. I thought I had golden raisins in the house, but I didn't, so just went for black ones."

Here at Kahakai Kitchen I made a delicious sandwich this week, with egg salad on top for a recent book review. This French-Inspired Egg Salad has cornichons, Dijon mustard, and chives on top and tasted even better served open-faced on toasted baguette slices. I had an olive and bean salad mixture from the grocery store olive bar on the side. 


About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).



Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Art of Inheriting Secrets" by Barbara O'Neal, Served with a Strawberry-Coriander Lassi

I am excited to be on the TLC Book Tour for The Art of Inheriting Secrets by Barbara O'Neal--an author whose work I really enjoy. Accompanying my review is a unique and refreshing Strawberry-Coriander Lassi inspired by the book.


Publisher's Blurb:

When Olivia Shaw’s mother dies, the sophisticated food editor is astonished to learn she’s inherited a centuries-old English estate—and a title to go with it. Raw with grief and reeling from the knowledge that her reserved mother hid something so momentous, Olivia leaves San Francisco and crosses the pond to unravel the mystery of a lifetime.
 
One glance at the breathtaking Rosemere Priory and Olivia understands why the manor, magnificent even in disrepair, was the subject of her mother’s exquisite paintings. What she doesn’t understand is why her mother never mentioned it to her. As Olivia begins digging into her mother’s past, she discovers that the peeling wallpaper, debris-laden halls, and ceiling-high Elizabethan windows covered in lush green vines hide unimaginable secrets.

Although personal problems and her life back home beckon, Olivia finds herself falling for the charming English village and its residents. But before she can decide what Rosemere’s and her own future hold, Olivia must first untangle the secrets of her past.

Print Length: 359 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (July 17, 2018)


My Review:

Barbra O'Neal's books are perfect for when you want something on the lighter side to escape to and especially if you like that escape to have a foodie element. She writes women's fiction, often romantic fiction with heroines that may have tragedy or sadness in their past and are starting over, often discovering things about themselves and their pasts. Her characters are appealing and easy to root for. Take Olivia Shaw, the lead character in The Art of Inheriting Secrets, for example. Olivia recently lost her artist mother only to find that she has inherited a crumbling English estate and is now Lady Shaw--family history her mother never shared with her. Olivia heads to England to learn about her past and why it was kept from her and to solve the clues her mother has left her. In the village surrounding Rosemere Priory, Olivia meets a cast of characters including a hunky and younger roof thatcher, his sister--a talented cook and restaurant owner, an elderly friend of her grandmother in the titled set, who befriends and advises her, and a group of townspeople and neighbors that may be out to help her restore the estate or may want to buy it out from under her. I liked Olivia--I could relate to her sadness over losing her mother and I envied her job as a food and travel writer and editor for a food magazine. There are no big surprises in the story, the romance, and the family mystery--but that's okay. Sometimes I just need a book that draws me in, takes me away, keeps me absorbed (and occasionally drooling over the food), and leaves me feeling satisfied--and The Art of Inheriting Secrets accomplished it all. A great book for your end of summer reading list and if you haven't experienced Barbara O'Neal's writing before, I also recommend her How to Bake a Perfect Life, The Secret of Everything, and The Garden of Happy Endings.  

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Author Notes: Barbara O’Neal is the author of eleven novels of women’s fiction, including How to Bake a Perfect Life and The Lost Recipe for Happiness. Her award-winning books have been published in a dozen countries, including France, England, Poland, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Brazil. Barbara lives in the stunningly beautiful city of Colorado Springs with her beloved, a British endurance athlete who vows he’ll never lose his accent.

Connect with Barbara on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Food Inspiration:

Barbara O'Neal writes great foodie novels and so there was plenty of food inspiration to choose from in The Art of Inheriting Secrets--especially Indian cuisine from one of the side character's restaurant--called Coriander and some classic English fare. Food mentions included fish-and-chips, ale, a hearty English breakfast of eggs, beans and tomatoes, a venison stew, cinnamon rolls and Chelsea buns, paneer prawn tikka with mango chutney and red onion, papadum with mint coriander chutney, raita, paneer, lamb kheema with jeera rice, gulab jamun, chicken shawarma and Israeli salad, carrot cake, hot chocolate, lemonade, fresh strawberries, lemony soup with parsley and spring onion, fish and rice, oatmeal with blueberries, a strawberry-coriander smoothie (aka: a 'posh' lassi), asparagus with soft eggs and toast and coconut asparagus with black mustard seed, cumin, garlic and chiles, a latte, mulligatawny, chapatti, a rose lassi, chai, donuts, and nutbreads, scones and tea.


Any number of the Indian dishes mentioned would have made me happy, but the Strawberry-Coriander Lassi (which Pavi a smoothie as it sold better that way) kept calling to me and so it had to be my book-inspired dish. I love a good, cool and creamy lassi (there are six on the blog right now, including a Vegan/Dairy-Free Mango Lassi I recently made for another book review.) I decided to make this one without dairy too. It's not traditional as they usually include yogurt, but with some recent hazy skies already this week, my asthma and allergies didn't need any help in making me stuffier. If you want a more traditional version, replace the non-dairy ingredients with milk and regular yogurt. 

Vegan/Dairy-Free Strawberry-Coriander Lassi
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 2)

2 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup non-dairy yogurt, plain or vanilla
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
sweetener of choice to taste if needed/desired--I used 2 tsp of maple syrup in mine
ice cubes/ice water, if needed/desired

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a little ice water or ice cubes as needed and continue to blend until smooth and pourable. Serve immediately. Any leftovers can be stored, cover in the fridge for a day or so.   



Notes/Results: I loved the hit of of coriander with the sweetness of the strawberries--it makes the lassi even more refreshing. Of course, if you are not a fan of cilantro, you can omit it. I left out any additional spices or flavors wanting to keep the strawberries and cilantro the focus, but you could pop in some cinnamon or coriander or even a little rosewater if desired. The lassi got a little short-shifted in the picture department as I was not able to take photos in daylight and I was exhausted getting home from work and commuting this week, but it made for a delicious and reviving part of my evening meal and the leftovers were a great breakfast drink. I will happily make it again.


Garlic and Sapphires is my eighth foodie book entry for the Foodies Read 2018 event. You can check out the August 2018 Foodies Read linkup, hosted by Heather at Based on a True Story, to see what everyone is reading this month.   

 
I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post. (Note: This week I'm hosting so look for the post here on Saturday!) ;-)

Note: A review copy of "The Art of Inheriting Secrets" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.
 

 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "America for Beginners" by Leah Franqui, Served with a Recipe for Bengali Fish Curry

Happy Wednesday and August 1st. Where did July go?! I swear it just started. To kick off August on a bright note, I'm very happy to be today's TLC Book Tour stop for America for Beginners, a new debut novel by Leah Franqui. Accompanying my review is a recipe for a simple and tasty Bengali Fish Curry that was inspired by the book.  


Publisher's Blurb:

Recalling contemporary classics such as Americanah, Behold the Dreamers, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a funny, poignant, and insightful debut novel that explores the complexities of family, immigration, prejudice, and the American Dream through meaningful and unlikely friendships forged in unusual circumstances.

Pival Sengupta has done something she never expected: she has booked a trip with the First Class India USA Destination Vacation Tour Company. But unlike other upper-class Indians on a foreign holiday, the recently widowed Pival is not interested in sightseeing. She is traveling thousands of miles from Kolkota to New York on a cross-country journey to California, where she hopes to uncover the truth about her beloved son, Rahi. A year ago Rahi devastated his very traditional parents when he told them he was gay. Then, Pival’s husband, Ram, told her that their son had died suddenly—heartbreaking news she still refuses to accept. Now, with Ram gone, she is going to America to find Rahi, alive and whole or dead and gone, and come to terms with her own life.

Arriving in New York, the tour proves to be more complicated than anticipated. Planned by the company’s indefatigable owner, Ronnie Munshi—a hard-working immigrant and entrepreneur hungry for his own taste of the American dream—it is a work of haphazard improvisation. Pival’s guide is the company’s new hire, the guileless and wonderfully resourceful Satya, who has been in America for one year—and has never actually left the five boroughs. For modesty’s sake Pival and Satya will be accompanied by Rebecca Elliot, an aspiring young actress. Eager for a paying gig, she’s along for the ride, because how hard can a two-week “working” vacation traveling across America be?

Slowly making her way from coast to coast with her unlikely companions, Pival finds that her understanding of her son—and her hopes of a reunion with him—are challenged by her growing knowledge of his adoptive country. As the bonds between this odd trio deepens, Pival, Satya, and Rebecca learn to see America—and themselves—in different and profound new ways.

A bittersweet and bighearted tale of forgiveness, hope, and acceptance, America for Beginners illuminates the unexpected enchantments life can hold, and reminds us that our most precious connections aren’t always the ones we seek.

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (July 24, 2018)


My Review: 

I'll just start with how much I enjoyed this book and Franqui's writing. It's her debut novel which left me a bit surprised at how skillfully she introduced, and had me quickly caring about its three quirky characters. Pival Sengupta recently lost her husband Ram, and is experiencing a bit of freedom from her bad marriage and cruel and verbally abusive husband with a journey from Kolkata, India to New York. Pival's trip is to find out what happened with her son, Rahi, who her husband disowned when he moved to America and then came out as gay. A phone call before his death has Ram abruptly telling Pival that their son has died, and she doesn't quite believe him. She intends to travel cross-country from New York to Los Angeles to find out--if he's alive, she'll bring him back to India and get him back on track, if he is dead, she will join him. Of course Pival doesn't state her reason for coming to America when she books the tour with Ronnie, a Bangladeshi immigrant whose company caters to rich Indians while hiding his background and ethnicity from them. Pival's guide for her trip is Satya, a young Bangladeshi immigrant working for the tour company, who has secrets of his own. For propriety, Ronnie hires a young actress, Rebecca (working several jobs while awaiting her big acting break), to travel with Pival and Satya. The trio goes from New York and Niagara Falls to Philadelphia, Washington DC, New Orleans, Phoenix, Las Vegas and finally, Los Angeles as Pival builds her courage to confront her son and/or the man who "corrupted" him. The trip challenges this unlikely trio in different ways, opening their eyes not just to America but to their own lives, thoughts, assumptions and prejudices. 

The book alternates the three main characters telling their stories with the story of Pival's son and his partner, and also tour company owner Ronnie's perspective. That Franqui manages these shifting perspectives in a smooth way that allows each character to shine, makes America for Beginners a pleasure to read. It had me smiling, chuckling, shaking my head, and tearing up at this unusual road trip story and I was sorry to see it end. A favorite for July and for the year.

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Author Notes: Leah Franqui is a graduate of Yale University and received an MFA at NYU-Tisch. She is a playwright and the recipient of the 2013 Goldberg Playwriting Award, and also wrote a web series for which she received the Alfred Sloan Foundation Screenwriting award (aftereverafterwebseries.com). A Puerto Rican-Jewish Philadelphia native, Franqui lives with her Kolkata-born husband in Mumbai. America for Beginners is her first novel.

Find out more about Franqui at her website, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Food Inspiration:

Although much of the food consumed in America for Beginners seems to be mediocre American and/or Bangladeshi-American versions of Indian dishes, there was plenty of food to be found including fish curries, coconut mutton chops, kebabs, dal, naan and roti breads, butter chicken, yogurt, papaya salad, tea and biscuits, Chinese food--including moo shou chicken, sweet bean buns and pork dishes from a noodle house, cheesecake, hot dogs, chicken and rice, popcorn, egg sandwiches with turkey bacon, and "authentic" New York pizza. There was also sushi and tempura, Mexican takeout, chai, Alphonso mangoes, a Thai food dinner of red curry with tofu, veggie spring rolls and veggie pad Thai and white wine, aloo gobi, chicken tikka, omelet with green chiles and garlic, tandori chicken, pasta with cheese, eggs scrambled with lentils, beignets in New Orleans, samosas, rice, oolong tea, croissants, coffee and scones, sag paneer, chana masala, gumbo, spicy corn and mushroom tacos, cold brew coffee, kombucha, and fish baked in mustard. 


Plenty of dishes would have matched well for the book, but there were several mentions of Bengali fish curries like those that Pival's cook made for her at home in Kolkata--the capital of West Bengal. The description of the mustard-scented fish and the mustard oil used had me intrigued and hungry, so I decided to make a Bengali Fish Curry for my book-inspired dish. Timing being what it was, I looked online for recipes rather than consulting my Indian cookbooks and found one that sounded both easy and good from the BBC Food website from a show called The Hairy Bikers. How could I resist that show title? Plus, it utilized ingredients I had and didn't make me drive into town for mustard oil from the Indian market--something I just didn't have time for this week. So I won't speculate on how authentic and traditional this recipe is, but it served my purpose well. Speaking of not authentic, I replaced the traditional rice with cauliflower rice--quick and easy from the microwave.   


The Hairy Bikers say, "This recipe is traditionally made with mustard oil but we’ve found that a combination of mustard seeds and English mustard powder brings just the right level of heat and flavour to this simple dish." {Deb says, I made a couple of small changes to the recipe--using local Kajiki fish (Hawaiian blue marlin which is firm and mild and looked good at the fish counter), seeding my green chilies (I like mild to medium spice), and using all yellow/brown mustard seeds & black cumin seeds as I had them on hand. My changes are in red below.}  
 

Bengali Fish Curry
Slightly Adapted from The Hairy Bikers via BBCFood.com
(Serves 2)

2 sea bass or sea bream fillets (each about 7oz), scales removed but skin on (I used skinless Kajiki--Hawaiian Blue Marlin)
1 tsp flaked sea salt, plus extra to season
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 1/2 tsp English mustard powder
freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp sunflower oil (I used coconut oil)
1 heaped tsp yellow mustard seeds
3/4 tsp black mustard seeds
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 long green chillies, stalk trimmed and cut in half without deseeding (I deseeded mine)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
5 1/2 oz ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
rice (I used cauliflower rice) to serve

Cut the fish fillets into roughly 7cm/3in wide strips. Put in a bowl and toss with the salt, cayenne pepper, half a teaspoon of the mustard powder and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Mix the remaining mustard powder with 300ml/10fl oz water, adding it gradually and stirring constantly until you have thin yellow liquid. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the fish over a high heat, skin-side down for a minute, or until the skin begins to crisp. Carefully turn over and cook on the other side for a further minute. Take the fish out of the pan and put on a plate. (Don’t let the fish get crowded in the pan or they will be difficult to turn. If your pan isn’t large enough, cook the fish in two batches instead. It’s nice to have the skin on the fish but you can easily remove it after frying if you prefer.)

As soon as the fish is cooked, return the pan to the heat and add both the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Cook for a few seconds, stirring constantly. Add the sliced onion, chillies and bay leaf. Cook for about five minutes, stirring constantly, until the onion is softened and pale golden-brown. Make sure you cook with the extractor on full-speed as the spices could make you sneeze! Sprinkle over the turmeric and garam masala, add the chopped tomatoes and cook for two minutes more, stirring constantly.

Stir in the reserved mustard liquid and bring to a simmer. Cook for three minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the volume of liquid has reduced by approximately one-third. The spices should have mellowed and the sauce should coat the back of a spoon. Return the fish to the pan and warm through in the bubbling sauce for two minutes until hot.
 
Cooking Notes: This is a light tasting curry but don’t reduce the amount of oil in the recipe as you need it to help thicken the sauce. Any fish fillets can be used or make it with fish steaks instead – as they often do in India - but you’ll need to increase the cooking time accordingly.


Notes/Results: I really enjoyed this curry--it was spicy but not alarmingly so (I am glad I de-seeded my chili peppers), with lots of flavor and freshness. I liked the mustard flavor in it and how it worked with the cayenne, turmeric and garam masala to make this curry different from many others I have tried. The fish is fried and then warmed back up in the curry before serving--which worked well with the firm kajiki that I used. The fish curry went well with the herbed cauliflower rice for a pretty quick and simple dinner. I'm glad I have another serving for tonight and I will happily make this again.


I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "America for Beginners" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.