Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Feeeesh and all ~ Daniela

Fish curry ready to serve!
Well the cold has arrived and that means warm hearty food, which not only warms you up from the inside, but will also lift your spirits! While lunch is an epic extravaganza in our office, getting tips and ideas for dinner comes as part and parcel of our afternoon rituals.

Yesterday I was craving fish, yet plain grilled fish was just not going to do, and being a lover of all things Indian, a fish curry seemed perfect. Yet bog-standard, ready-made sauces are not my thing, so as I often do, I swung around in my chair and asked my colleague Trisha to hop on the line and call her mom in Durban to get me a proper recipe. Simple, quick and easy but out of this world delicious.

Tip: Now while all the spices seem pretty standard, like me, you may be wondering about Tamarind. I was just going to give it a skip as not only did I not have it and a trip to the shops seemed a schlep, but I also never heard of it. But if you are going to try this, do yourself a favour and ensure you put it in! I didn’t really think Trishi could be right as she said: “It makes the dish”, but boy-oh-boy did this change everything!!!

(I got mine at the Spar in Blairgowrie and Trishi buys hers at the PnP at Bright Water Commons). It was beyond delicious and made the trip and cooking from scratch so worth while.

Pika’s fish curry

Golf ball size of Tamarind (black)
Fish (six pieces)
Green chillies (I put 4 but it will be up to you)
5 pieces fresh garlic
1tblsp Mustard seeds
1tblsp Jeera seeds (cumin)
Half onion, sliced
5 grated tomatoes – no skins
Salt to taste
2 tblsp Curry powder
1tblsp Sugar

  1. In a bowl, mix a golf size ball of tamarind with hot water. Let it soak while you make the rest of the curry and make sure you sieve out the seeds and skin before adding to the curry.
  2. Grind the chillies, garlic, mustard seeds and jeera seeds in a pestle and mortar.
  3. In a pot of hot oil, braise chilli mix with onions. Let it cook till slightly brown. Be careful not to burn mustard seeds.
  4. Once the onions are done, add the tomatoes and salt and let it cook for a few minutes.
  5. Add the curry powder and cook for about 15mins.
  6. Then add the tamarind mixture – make sure that just the liquid goes in and cook for 10 mins.
  7. Then add the fish and cook for another 20 minutes until the fish is done.
  8. When it is almost cooked, add sugar to taste and cook on low for a further few minutes until the gravy thickens a bit.

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