Showing posts with label curry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label curry. 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, October 28, 2018

Ruth's Shrimp Curry (Made Into) Soup with Basmati Rice for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Another very busy week at work rolling out leadership development workshops had me too busy to do much cooking until the weekend so I'm combining my Souper Sundays and IHCC posts once again. Our theme for this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs is all about using gourmet pantry ingredients. I think of things like exotic spices--curry, cardamom, cinnamon and turmeric, and cans of creamy coconut milk. I also think of my fridge and freezer as part of my pantry and I had a couple of potatoes that needed to be used, some mini peppers and a half-bag of frozen peas. I put them all together into Ruth's Shrimp Curry--making it into a soup with plenty of creamy broth and cooked basmati rice in the rice cooker to have on the side. It will make for some great lunches this week. My changes to Ruth's recipe (from Comfort Me with Apples via Genius Kitchen) are in red below.


Genius Kitchen says, This simple and delicious recipe was in Ruth Reichl's book "Comfort Me With Apples". It is a classic American style curry - easy to make and doubles or triples easily.


Shrimp Curry Soup
Adapted from Ruth Reichl's Shrimp Curry via GeniusKitchen.com
(Serves 6)

1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
(I added 1 cup sweet mini bell peppers, chopped)
(I added 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, diced)
1/4 cup butter (I reduced to 2 Tbsp)
4 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chili pepper (I used Aleppo pepper)
1 Tbsp flour (I used almond flour)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used non-dairy creamer)
1 cup coconut milk, well-stirred (I used 1 can of coconut milk)
2 cups chicken broth (I used 4 cups vegan non-chicken broth)
(I added 1 cup frozen green peas)
2 tsp freshly-grated lime zest
2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
garnishes: roasted peanuts or cashews, raisins, cilantro, chopped ginger
serve with rice, mango chutney

Cook the onion and garlic in the butter in a heavy 5 quart pot over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add the spices and flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the cream, coconut milk, broth and lime zest and bring just to a boil. Simmer the mixture, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and simmer, stirring, until the shrimp turns pink and is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, and add salt and pepper to taste.
 

Ladle the curried shrimp over rice and top with garnishes as desired. Serve the mango chutney on the side.


Notes/Results: Really good--full of curry flavor, rich and creamy, and works really well as a soup with the extra broth. I put in the veggies I needed to use up--potatoes and mini sweet peppers and peas from the freezer but you could add in what ever veggies you want. Obviously it's shrimp curry, but Ruth's spices are good so if shrimp isn't your thing you could use fish, chicken, mushroom, or tofu in the broth and it would be fabulous. Ruth serves her shrimp curry with sweet things like chutney and raisins but I prefer mine with roasted cashews and cilantro. Easy and Tasty, I would happily make it again.


Linking up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is Pantry Gourmet--Ruth Reichl recipes made with good pantry ingredients.

 
Now, lets take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen:


Debra of Eliot's Eats shared a book-inspired Pumpkin Chili with Black Beans and Sausage and said, "It’s obviously now soup weather and soup comforts the soul, right? Jessica and her family needed comfort. If I had been her best friend and next door neighbor, I would have made up a bowl of soup to deliver nightly. (Hopefully, this recipe is better than the sweet potato chili from the book.) ... This soup is better on the second day. I made it for our supper and then served it the next day to friends who came over for lunch. The flavors were more melded and it was a little less spicy (if that’s possible)."


Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog brought her Creamy Parsnip Soup: Instant Pot or Not and said, "Are you familiar with the parsnip? It is a root vegetable that looks like a carrot but is white. It's loaded with nutrients and tastes mild and delicious especially in soup. It is sold in a bag in the produce isle of the supermarket. ... I frequently add a parsnip to soup recipes to give a soup a little extra sweetness, but this is the first time I actually made a parsnip soup. It's a nice soothing comforting creamy soup."

 
Tina of Squirrel Head Manor is getting back to normal after Hurricane Michael and shared a Simple Green Salad she paired with lasagna. She said, "Well. Getting back in the swing of things I stuck with non complicated meals, made this chicken lasagna (recipe HERE) that I posted in August. It's a tried and true meal. To keep it simple we had a gussied up green salad with lots of cukes, shredded carrots, grape tomatoes, bib lettuce and mushrooms."


Mahalo to all who joined 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 her 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 (optional).



 
Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Red Curry Vegetable & Cauliflower Rice Soup with Crispy Hoisin-Sesame Tofu for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Sometimes soup inspiration just strikes. I made this delicious Bengali Fish Curry earlier in week. I was heating up the leftovers and decided to dump the remains of a can of coconut milk into it. As I was enjoying the soupy curry with cauliflower rice, I thought about what a great soup it would make. 


At first I decided to make a vegan chicken cauliflower rice soup, but then I decided to use up some red curry paste and a bunch of summer veggies (zucchini, red pepper, tomatoes, eggplant, carrot, onion and snow peas) lurking in my fridge. Wanting to add protein, I made a variation to Chloe Coscarelli's Crispy Hoisin Tofu from her Vegan Ramen Bowl, and thus my Red Curry Vegetable & Cauliflower Rice Soup with Crispy Hoisin-Seasame Tofu was born.


Red Curry Vegetable & Cauliflower Rice Soup with Crispy Hoisin-Seasame Tofu
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serve 4 to 5

1 Tbsp coconut oil or oil of choice
3 Tbsp red curry paste, or to taste 
2 lemongrass stalks, stalks trimmed and bruised
4 to 5 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1/2 sweet onion, sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 Japanese eggplant, halved and sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced 
1 red jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 Tbsp ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock of choice
2 tsp low-sodium tamari or soy sauce, or to taste

3-4 cups riced cauliflower
1 large handful snow peas, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
fresh lime juice

To Serve: Crispy Hoisin-Sesame Tofu (recipe below), pea shoots, chopped green onion, Thai basil leaves, and lime wedges, as desired  

Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat and add coconut oil and red curry paste, cooking for a couple of minutes to release the flavors. Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and onions and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the red bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant, carrot, ginger, and garlic and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the broth and tamari and bring soup to a slow roiling boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the riced cauliflower, snow peas and coconut milk and simmer about 5 minutes until snow peas are tender crisp. Taste and add salt, or other seasoning (such as lime juice) as needed or desired.

To Serve: Ladle Soup into large bowls and top with Crispy Hoisin-Sesame Tofu, green onion, pea shoots, and Thai basil leaves as desired and serve with fresh lime wedges. Enjoy!

-----

Crispy Hoisin-Sesame Tofu 
Slightly Adapted from by Chloe Flavor by Chloe Coscarelli
(Serves 4)

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 (16 oz) package extra-firm tofu, pressed (see note below) and cubed
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Heat \the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the tofu and sear for about 3 minutes per side, until it turns golden and crispy. (Chloe says the key to crispy tofu it not to flip them over too soon--to let them get nicely brown before turning them over.) Add more oil as needed if the pan looks dry. Add the hoisin sauce, tamari, and sesame seeds, reduce the heat to low and turn the tofu to coat it evenly.


Notes/Results: This bowl of soup with its Asian-inspired flavors really hit the spot. The cauliflower rice is a great, lower calorie and carb substitute to real rice and the tofu adds the right amount of chewy, meaty texture and flavor. I made this one vegan with veggies I had on hand and like, but you can adjust it easily with whatever you like--adding fewer or more ingredients and a different protein if you like. The red curry paste I use has a medium spice and with the jalapeno, it was the right heat level for me, but you can add more heat to the soup--or serve it with chili paste or sriracha if you like a bigger kick of spice. One note about the tofu--it is REALLY good and so I recommend making extra as like me, you may find your self noshing on it as you cook. I will happily make this soup again and will experiment with more cauliflower rice in soups. 


Lets take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Debra of Eliot's Eats is here with Raw Butternut Squash Salad with Ginger & Raisins, She says, "I bragged during last month’s “In My Kitchen” about my beautiful squash plant and how it was loaded with lovely butternuts. Seriously, it wasn’t two days after that post that the entire vine withered away and died. (Squash bugs, perhaps?) Anywhoo, I was able to salvage half a dozen squashes. When I think of butternut squash, I think of fall….nice gratins, creamy soups, delicious pies and muffins. Definitely not salads. I wondered if you could eat it raw and after a couple of searches I came across some delicious sounding recipes: Raw Butternut Squash Salad with Ginger and Raisins by Mark Bittman and Fresh Butternut Squash Salad with prosciutto, Parmesan and walnuts by Marc Meyer.  Although I have to admit that the latter one sounded more delicious, I had everything to make the former one. So, Raw Butternut Squash Salad with Ginger it was."
 
 
Mahalo, Debra--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 her 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 (optional).

 
Have a happy, healthy week!




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.

-----


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.

-----

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.