Fresh and Fragrant

I reorganized my spice cabinet yesterday. It needed it. I realized this when I was looking over a recipe and didn't remember which spices I actually had - so I made a nice list of everything and taped it to the inside of the cabinet door. Solved! Then I got to work on a really simple and fragrant fish curry - it uses loads of whole spices and yet isn't spicy at all. I recommend only making this if you have FRESH fish. I picked up some fresh pollock fillets at my local fish shop yesterday and it was beautiful.

This is modified from an anjum anand recipe that I found in delicious magazine. This happens to be the perfect amount for two.

Fragrant Coconut Fish Curry

Serve over your favorite type of rice - I used a wild rice blend.

The particulars:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 7 curry leaves
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 white fish fillets (pollock or cod), skinned and cut into large cubes
  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cinnamon, cloves, mustard seeds and peppercorns, and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add the curry leaves and the onion and cook until soft. add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute, adding a splash of water if it looks too dry. Add the turmeric and season with salt.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 7 minutes until reduced. Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and check the amount of sauce in the pan. It should be creamy but not thick; add more water if too thick.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice, then add the fish in 1 layer and gently simmer for 4-5 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time. When cooked through, serve over rice.

Lesson learned: The key to this is the fresh fish. A very nice, light and simple dish - we barely used the tiny bit of sauce left after serving the curry with a slotted spoon and still got all the nice flavors of the whole spices. Be careful not to eat the whole cloves or peppercorns!