08 December 2005

Fish Curry and Rice

I like to cook. I love to cook. Something I always wanted to do when I was young. I watched my mother cook, she made and makes the most wonderful food in the world.

I learnt to cook much later in life, when I was twenty or so. I tried different recipes, first from cook books and then I asked my mother to share her secrets. She at first said that I was a man and it was a woman's job to do the cooking. My mother is a traditional Indian woman, although she had been to university like most middle class urban women.

Then my mother slowly realised that I was not so much a man and she slowly gave out her secrets to me, like she did with her sarees. I had thus become her daughter.

Fish Curry and rice is staple fare for an Indian family of my region.

Its quite easy to make it or so I think now after years of making it. Even my mother thinks so. She thinks that I have my own way of making it, a little different for hers but hers is different from her mothers. So the secret passes on.

Fish Curry
Carp - 500 gm. or other river fish or shelled and devined Jumbo prawns
(cut into medium sized pieces)
Turmeric powder - 5 gm.
Cumin powder - 5 gm.
Coriander powder - 5 gm.
Panch-phoran - 1 gm in all
* Fenugreek (methi)
* Nigella seed (kalo jira)(Onion seed)
* brown Mustard seed (rai or shorshe)
* Fennel seed (mouri)
* Cumin seed (jeera)
Green chilies(sliced) - 10 gm.
Onions - 2 large
Oil - 15 ml.
Salt to taste
Sugar 1/2 tsp

Rub salt and turmeric on fish and leave for 15 mins to marinate.

Cut the onions in to 4 quarters and blend them into a smooth paste. (add a few tsp of water to help form the paste in the blender)

Combine cumin and coriander into paste with a little water in a bowl.

Heat oil in a wok and lightly fry the fish and remove and place on a plate with kitchen roll paper spread over to soak the excess oil.

In the same hot oil, that was used to fry the fish, add Panch-phoran and one green chilli (slit it or it will burst), when they start to sputter and the chilli starts to get a little yellow.
Add the onion paste and sauté until brownish. The oil will be absorbed by the onion paste.

Now add Cumin-Coriander paste after 5-6 mins.

Stir well and add a cup of water. Add salt to taste. Add sugar.

Add the fried fish.
Turn down the heat to simmer.

Check seasoning. Add Chilli powder if you want it to be HOT!

Let it cook for 5 minutes. Add more water if it dries up.

Now add freshly chopped coriander. Stir.

Serve hot with boiled rice.

Time taken -- 30 to 45 mins.
Serves -- 6.

Tips: Go easy on the chillies if you want it to be mild.


No comments: