Monday, April 23, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award...Green Fish Curry

Thinking Blogger Award

I have to say I was, and am still surprised when I got a "Thinking Blogger Award" from none other than the lovely Carrie. I have always thought of this blog being just a place for my rants, cooking experiment results, movie reviews and not much happens here that really makes you think. But Carrie feels otherwise and maybe some of you agree.

Anyway as per Carrie here are the rules for how this award works..

1)you are supposed to link to the original post
2) choose five other blogs that make you think and pass along the love and adoration and the special award.
3) and that are award virgins.

Carrie who nominated me very graciously let me off the hook for numbers 2 and 3. The reason for this is that I think every blog that I read brings something different to the table, and I just would not be able to pick 5 that make me think and leave the others out. So thank you Carrie for the nomination, it is much appreciated.

Green Fish Curry

If you are like me and want to try a new recipe, like a lot of folks my first instinct is to go on the web and look for recipes. I have often been susceptible to that, so it was different that day as looked through the collection of cookbooks we have. I bypassed the ones in English that dealt with both Indian and non Indian cuisine to pick up a book that we have had for many years now. It is in Marathi, the language from the state that I grew up in back in India. It is an old cookbook and does not have any of photographs and nice outlays that you see in newer cookbooks. What it has though are numerous (300 +) recipes for cooking meat and fish. The descriptions are all simple and rather threadbare, but enough for someone like me who gets struck with occasional “cookus doofusitis” (characterized by occasional episodes of ineptness in the kitchen) to follow and cook. I found more than 75 ways to make fish that covered varied cuisine styles from India and some from other parts of the world.

It was here that I found the recipe for a green fish curry, it was fairly easy to make a turned out really well. I usually don’t eat rice but I have to say this curry just went very well with rice.

1.5 lbs of Flounder/Tilapia (I used flounder here, the original recipe called for pomfret), cut in to small pieces about 3 inches each cutting across the length of the filet.

1 cup rice flour (besan or gram flour could also be used as a substitute)

5 - 6 green chilies

2-3 cups of cilantro (you don’t have to chop this if you are thinking of using a food processor).

½ a cup of mint leaves. (The will vary based on the mint leaves, the ones here are a lot stronger than what I have seen in India and will also depend on your tolerance and liking for mint and how it balances with the other flavors)

½ inch piece of ginger, you will probably want to grate this

7-8 cloves of garlic

Juice from 2 lemons/limes or a tablespoon of tamarind paste

1 tablespoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon sugar

Coconut milk

Salt to taste

Turmeric (probably a teaspoon)

Sprinkle some salt and turmeric on the fish and mix it all up and set aside for 5-10 minutes. This step is entirely optional in the sense that turmeric (has known anti-bacterial properties) and salt (well you know all about that too). These steps I guess were used in days past (before refrigeration) to ensure some sort of cleansing of the fish.

Take the pieces of fish and dip them in rice flour and fry/sauté them in a shallow pan. I used very little oil for this and the fish cooks real quick, so you may be able to avoid deep frying it. Set aside.

In a food processor add the chilies, cilantro, mint, grated ginger, garlic, sugar and the lime juice/tamarind paste. Add water based on the consistency of the desired curry and blend it all together.

In a pan add some oil and empty the blended curry ingredients, add cumin and allow it to cook over medium heat (5 -10 minutes) or till you start getting the distinct aroma of mint.

Add ½ - 1 cup of coconut milk or one half of a freshly grated coconut (You can also try to substitute cream for coconut milk).

Allow the entire mix to cook for a few more minutes, add salt to taste.

Add the fish pieces just before serving.

The pictures were taken in a rush, so are not of a great quality.
It turned out really well as per *A* who loved eating it with rice. The taste and aroma of mint was not at all overwhelming and it blended well with the slight sweetness of the coconut and the tangy flavors of the lime and tamarind. The heat from the chilies was also well moderated thanks to the coconut milk. I did add some red chili powder when I was done since I thought it needed more heat.

I thought this was a rather different kind of a fish curry as opposed to what I have been used to eating most of the times.


Aditi said...

Ahh an apt nomination.. i love how beautifully u present the recipies.. takes patience and makes it look like art..

listmaker said...

You definitely deserve the award.

And, I always enjoy reading about your food adventures.

Asha said...

Well deserved award Sanjay! Enjoy it:))

Indian food!YAY!!!
Cookbooks without the photos are the best if you ask me.I have more than 150 cookbooks,my favs are always the few old ones with just authentic Indian dishes,no fusion(yikes)cooking,no fancy garnishing etc.

Fish and rice looks great!:))

Cacophoenix said... make us think, we give you award and you are forced to make us think even more...The mystical circle of eh!

But it was well worth it. Keep up the good work.

Beenzzz said...

The pictures are great! That looks so delicious. I really like tilapia, so I will have to try this.

Ash said...

Congratulations on the totally deserve it!

And the fish curry looks yum!

Sanjay said...

@Aditi. Thanks. This was actually a very rush job, with no planning at all, any art is purely accidental. :)

@Listmaker.. Thank you on both counts.

@Asha.. Thank you. 150 cookbooks? wow!

@Cacophoenix.. Thanks I like this mysterious circle of eh! :)

@Beenzzz. It turned out really well. Thanks.

@Ash.. Thank you..thank you!

ML said...

Congratulations on the award! :)

That looks like a marvelous recipe. I do love talipia, so I bet that's what I would use in this recipe.

“cookus doofusitis”?? :) Very funny! All the more reason to have a glass of wine while cooking. Definately eliminates the cookus doofusitis.

Lotus Reads said...

CONGRATS on the Thinker Blogger award, truly deserve it! I love the button, it's very classy!

Yeay, an authentic Maharashtrian fish curry recipe, I am definitely going to try making this one, Sanjay, and I am going to trek all the way to the Chinese market to buy Pomfret for it (my favorite fish!) Many,many thanks for sharing!

Mona Buonanotte said...


And the food looks delish...did you make enough for all of us??

Sanjay said...

@Ml.. Thanks. As for the wine, I can never tell what it does to my barely adequate cooking skills.

@Mona. Thank you so much. Sure there was enough to go around :)

Sanjay said...

@Lotus. Many thanks for your kind words. :-) Ya, the button is neat, I just stole it from Carrie's blog. :)

Yes this is Maharashtrian I think, it does come from a Marathi cook book, but it does include recipes from all parts of India too.

Pomfret is your fave fish? No way!!! lol it is mine too, except that I have never bothered enough to go get it from the Chinese fish place. Perhaps I should do that and ask my mom and sis for the awesome stuffed pomfret that they make. :-)

And now I am all nostalgic :) thank you again for your comment :-)

Diana said...

You certainly deserve the nomination! The fish looks divine. Lots of lovely fresh herbs! Cilantro will have a nice big spot in my garden this summer.

Carrie said...

See! I told you that you deserved it.

I bet Adam would love this dish. Maybe I could surprise him.

Keshi said...

I love fish.


NainaAshley said...

Congratulations on the award. You deserve it.
We just got pomfret from an Indian store this weekend, so your recipe comes at the right time. Will definitely try it.

Anali said...

Congratulations on the award and the dish looks great!

deepsat said...

you do deserve the award! enjoy!!

the fish and rice looks really delicious! need to try that recipe!


Id it is said...

Would this one work for a St. Patrick's Day special? How green is the 'green'?
Congratulations on the nomination!