Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Green Fish Curry

I love this recipe for Green Fish Curry but haven't made it for a family dinner since my boys expanded their culinary horizons to include Indian food about a year ago. This dish has been served to accolades at dinner parties, but there's no reason not to include it in an everyday rotation since there is nothing particularly complicated or time-consuming about the recipe. Tonight, I made the curry with grouper which made for a slightly expensive weeknight dinner. But there are other less expensive fish, such as red snapper, that could be used and the dish would be just as good.

My recipe is adapted from one I found in an Indian cookbook I checked out of the St. Tammany Parish Public Library about ten or so years ago. Proper attribution is important to me, but it is just not an option here. 

Green Fish Curry

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds firm white fish fillets, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 serrano chili, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup cashew nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried coconut
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup. light cream(fat-free half & half is fine)
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, divided
  • Cooked basmati rice (brown or white) or a vegetable rice pilaf
  1. Mix together the turmeric, lime juice and salt in a shallow casserole. Add the fish and rub it down with the lime and spice. Cover the dish, refrigerate and marinate the fish for 15 minutes.
  2. Use a food processor to puree the onion, serrano, garlic, cashews, fennel seeds and coconut to a paste.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium and fry the cumin seeds for 2 minutes until they begin to sputter.
  4. Add the onion paste and fry for 5 minutes, then stir in the ground cumin, coriander and salt. Fry for about 2-3 minutes before adding the water. Stir well to combine.
  5. Add the cream and 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Simmer for 5 minutes. Gently stir in the fish. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes or until the fish is tender.
  6. Stir in 2 tablespoons of cilantro.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  8. Serve with rice or vegetable pilaf. Garnish with the last of the fresh cilantro.
Yield: 4 servings Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

This dish would be difficult to photo under the best conditions; dying light at 8:15 did not help.

The curry was lovely served over a brown Basmati rice pilaf. I sauteed green onion, carrot and a little garlic in a teaspoon or so of vegetable oil, added a bit of curry powder and chicken broth in place of the water, then stirred in the brown rice. Cook the rice according to the package instructions. After the rice cooks and sits, fluff it and stir in a few tablespoons of toasted slivered almonds. The toasted almonds add a little crunch to the dish as well as picking up on the nuttiness of the cashews in the curry sauce.

In general, I am all about big, bold flavors, but that is so not what this dish is about. The pureed coconut, cashews and fennel seeds combine to create a delightfully subtle backfield for the curry. The Serrano adds the perfect bit of heat.

So what did my kids think? I really wasn't sure how enthusiastic they would be, especially after I decided to serve it over brown rice. They absolutely chowed.

This post will be linked up over at 33 Shades of Green's Tasty Tuesday, Lady Behind the Curtain's Cast Party Wednesday and These Chicks Cooked.

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