Had one of those rare weekends when everything went as planned. A quiet Saturday with friends of the family, a flawless Sunday with a long afternoon nap, clean to-do list, and best of all, with Monday being a holiday, absolutely no dreadful Sunday-Evening-Jitters. Yes, I bask in the luxury of weekends and all. But the torture I go through at dusk every Sunday, at the thought of having to get back to work the next day, makes me sometimes wish they never happened. Silly me, I agree. I choose the monotony of a work week forever, over a roller coaster of work, fun, and back to work again.
Anyway, well rested and in high spirits on Monday evening I drove to the market, having decided to treat my DH with some well deserved home cooked meal. He did a fine job at making the weekend perfect for me. Among many other things, he’d gotten the house immaculately spic without me having to raise a finger (sigh! if only we had more valentines day weekends). So, when my fish monger showed off his wears of some the finest silver white Pomfrets that I hadn’t seen for a long time, I was glad my luck was still sticking around. And, like I always do when I see a good buy, I went amuck. So, if you are not a big fan of Pomfrets, I’d suggest you come back to this site in probably a year’s time, because the next gazillion posts are going to be Pomfret this, Pomfret that and Pomfret this and that too .
By the time I was done with the bulk Pomfret shopping, there wasn’t much time left to cook. So, I changed plans and decided to make this quick and easy fish curry in coconut milk, one of R’s favorite. The recipe is similar to the Kerala Red Fish Curry , except that you thicken the gravy with rich coconut milk right at the very end. At my sister S’, insistence, if you haven’t already noticed, I managed to stick in a piece of kudampulli in the pictures too. She has me convinced that the pictures of fish curries in my previous posts looked incomplete without one of these jutting out like a sore thumb (*rolling eyes*). So, there S, I hope it meets your standards now !
1 lb fish cut into slices
2 tsp red chili powder(base it on tolerable spice levels)
1 tsp paprika(mainly for the red color)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3 –4 shallots finely sliced (if you don’t have these you can use one med sized onion)
1 tsp grated ginger
1tsp finely chopped garlic
2 kudampulli (camboge fruit rinds)
(If you don’t have this you can use tamarind instead, but the taste won’t be authentic)
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds powder
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 –3 tbsp coconut oil/any vegetable refined oil
2- 3 oz of canned coconut milk ( canned coconut milk is much thicker and creamier than fresh coconut milk. If you are using fresh you might need about a cup in this recipe) salt to taste
Soak kudampulli in a cup of hot salt water and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add black mustard seeds, when they pop add in the curry leaves and powdered fenugreek.
Add sliced shallot and sauté till golden brown.
Add crushed ginger and garlic and sauté till oil separates.
Mix together chili powder, paprika and turmeric powderin a little warm water to make a smooth paste, add to the pan and sauté for a few minutes.
Add soaked kudampulli along with the water and allow it to boil for a few minutes.
Add the fish pieces.
Close the lid and let it boil it again.
Once the water boils, reduce the flame and let it simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes until the fish is cooked. Add more water if necessary.
Add coconut milk and mix in gently. let it simmer for 5 minutes before putting off the flame.
Season again with a little oil, mustard and curry leaves if desired.
Serve with Rice or Kappa