Friday, December 30, 2005

from my rasoi

First post, first food blog event. I've been exploring Indian food for the last year, after a momentous and transcendent dinner cooked by my friend T's aunt, who was visiting from India. I don't remember anymore the names of what we ate, but everything tasted new and fresh and spicy, and very unlike what I'd had in Indian restaurants.
So I was delighted to see that Meena at Hooked on Heat ( had announced a new event: From My Rasoi. Cook something Indian, she said, something that reminds you of winter, and I complied.
This recipe was originally from 1000 Indian Recipes, by Neelam Batra, my first, and so far, only Indian cookbook (and a pretty good one). But I changed it a bit, according to my whim and what was in the cupboard. It's warming, mildly spicy, real comfort food.

Spicy Fish Curry
1/2 cup coconut milk
2-3 dried chili peppers (small)
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
1 heaped tbs ginger and garlic paste
half a dozen cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
About 1 pound fish fillets (I used mahi-mahi)
I splashed a couple of tbs of olive oil (not authentic, I know) in the pan, and when it was hot, threw in the mustard seeds. When they were sizzling, I put in the onion and sauteed it until it was translucent. Meanwhile, I ground the chile peppers in my coffee grinder (former coffee grinder, that is), and added them to the onions, then added the fish filets and seared them a bit on both sides. At this point, I added the garlic/ginger paste, the other spices, the coconut milk, and the cherry tomatoes, and simmered the fish briefly with the lid on, perhaps for about 5 minutes.
All this took really very little time, and it turned out very well. We had it with rice, and carrots roasted with cinnamon and olive oil. The original recipe called for chopped cilantro, and it probably would have been good, but I didn't have any.
No picture, you'll notice--which is mostly because I forgot to take one until the curry was reduced to some leftovers in tupperware; but it wasn't really very photogenic anyway. Next time, I vow to remember the camera.