Thursday, January 18, 2007

Friday, January 05, 2007

Curried Fish in Coconut Sauce

I got my love for eating fish from my father. For a typical Sunday lunch, you can find my mom making fish curry and roasting fish on a tava with her trademark 'I-love-to-cook-for-my-family' look on her face. And while eating, Appa usually comments - 'This curry should be had again for dinner. By dinnertime, the taste increases two fold'. Yes, the tasty fish has to marinate in the sauce for the taste to reach its peak. When I think of fish curries, I remember my first attempt at that. I had let the fish cook for about 30 mins.. YES! I did end up with a saucepan full of fish-bhurji :) LOL. After that, it took a phone call to my mom to realize that fish takes 2-4 mins to cook in curries. A lesson, well learnt.

The above curry is not a typical one we make at home. I will post that some other time. The usual fish curry requires white fish which doesn't have any distinct taste or flavor, on it's own - something like solefish, tilapia, pollock, etc. One fine day, I was looking to experiment something in my lab (that's the kitchen, of course) and was tempted by the salmon in the freezer. Now, Salmon tastes good when roasted. I wondered how it would taste in my new kind of fish curry? It turned out delicious. Different, yes! But very delicious. I am not going to write the ingredients in exact quantities because well, I didn't measure anything.

Marinate the fish pieces with little salt, chilli powder and lemon juice for about 1/2 hr. You can leave it overnight, in the fridge too.

Heat oil and saute a few methi seeds, add some chopped onions and curry leaves and saute well. Meanwhile, Dry-roast 2 tbsp of coriander seeds with some jeera and red chillies. Powder this and keep aside. Once the onions turn translucent, add chopped tomatoes. Add the ground powder and some turmeric powder and a pinch of salt and stir well. Add some tamarind pulp and let it boil. Add about 1 heaped tbsp of coconut milk powder to half a glass of warm water and whisk using a wire whisk (which we use to whip eggs). Add this milk to the sauce cooking on the stovetop. Taste the sauce and then, adjust salt. When the sauce is done, add the fish pieces, reduce the heat and close the lid. After 4-5 mins, switch the stove off.

Serve with hot steamed rice. Since salmon is a heavy fish, you wouldn't need a separate side dish, but rasam with rice, as the next course will be wonderful. The addition of coconut milk takes the fish curry to new dimensions.

This recipe is for JFI by Ashwini, who is hosting for the month of January. I'm so behind the announced schedule. So, dear Ashwini, I'm sorry that this comes late. And I understand if you can't add it to the roundup.