If anyone is actually on this blog looking for recipe advice TODAY IS YOUR DAY: both the recipes in this post were genuinely easy and super good.
I decided to try and imitate 2 dishes that are sometimes a part of the crèche lunches. I finished my time volunteering there last week, and I already miss it, and the food--the women cooked delicious, simple, home-cooked food, every day. Plus, eating with your hands is so much better than eating with a spoon, once you’ve gotten the hang of it. You’ll never realize how much you taste the cutlery until you eat without it.
I made these recipes on Sunday, which means market day, which means FISH
|a man and his fishes|
Both recipes came out amazingly, although my photos of them came out terribly, so you will have to try them yourself to see how beautiful and delicious they are.
The fish recipe is very subtle and simple--you make a rich base of spices (the masala) and tomato/onions, cooked down to the point where they barely resemble veggies, then you make it creamy with coconut milk. It's based off of this recipe, with a few minor adaptation, slightly changing the ratios of things, as well as saving us all from the terrible task of grating onions. On the plus side, the original recipe has very good photos of the steps. The cabbage dish I improvised, based on a side dish I've often had at the creche and as part of thali meals. Through some intrepid Googling of phrases like “indian cabbage mustard seeds food thing” I've discerned that it might be called Cabbage Thoran, but that also might be something else entirely.
|I will never be a famous food blogger. Tragic, really.|
Okay, so first the fish curry:
- enough fish filet for 4 people. Try to get a firm white fish. Cut the filets into cubes (mine turned out more like thin strips because the fish man somehow left a million bone-bits in and I had to basically destroy the fish for half an hour getting the bones out. I am not cut out for the fisherman life, probably)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 onions, cut very finely
- thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chili powder (hot)
- 1 tsp salt
- lots of black pepper
- 1 cup coconut milk or slightly more to taste
- ¼ cup water
- 1-2 fresh chilly peppers, slit. (if you want SPICE)
- ¼ cup green onions, chopped
What you do:
- Wash and dry fish pieces
- Heat oil in pan, add onions, garlic, ginger. Cook on LOW heat for a LONG time: at least 5 minutes, until you can’t tell the things apart from each other and it smells amazing. Add a leeeetle bit of water if you have to, so it doesn't burn.
- Add tomatoes and garam masala. Keep heat low, and mash the tomatoes with a fork. Cook until it’s all a kind of paste. You will know this when you see it.
- Add chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir.
- Pour in liquids, add the slit chilies if you're using them. Add more black pepper if you want. Bring this to a boil, and add the fish. PAY ATTENTION because fish cooks fast. In about 4 minutes or less, when the fish is white/cooked, remove from heat, it is done. Sprinkle green onions on top.
SERVE on rice and with this lovely cabbage thing as a side dish:
LOVELY CABBAGE THING (literally takes 5 minutes)
- 1 cabbage
- 1-2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon oil/butter/ghee/whatever
- 2 tablespoons garlic ginger paste OR 1 clove garlic, 1 inch of ginger, chopped finely
- chilly powder
- fresh cilantro
What you do:
- Remove outer layer of cabbage, core it...you know: cabbage things. Chop it into thin strips.
- In a deep-ish pan or a wok, heat oil, put mustard seeds in and wait for them to pop
- Add garlic/ginger/the rest of the spices. Stir for a minute
- Add cabbage and salt. Stir until all cabbage is coated in spice/oil mixture.
- Add about a quarter cup of water, cover, and leave on medium heat, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed—basically you are steaming the cabbage now. It’s done when the cabbage is at your preferred Cabbage Tenderness Level.
- Garnish with a whole lot of chopped fresh cilantro.
Serve with the curry of fishes!