South Indian Fish Curry

Although we are both pretty good at Pakistani (and by extension, northern Indian) food, south Indian food is pretty new to us. I have really enjoyed coconut milk fish curries in the past, so I decided to make some. The Methi Chaval is an easy but highly flavorful rice dish. I think that fenugreek and fish are natural partners. Finally, a simple and extremely comforting dal. All three of the following recipes have been adapted from “India: The Cookbook” by Pushpesh Pant.

Tamil Nadu Coconut Milk Fish Curry:

  • 14 oz firm white fish fillet
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp mashed garlic
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 dried red chiles
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste

Mix the tumeric, mashed garlic, and some salt. Chop the fish into pieces and coat them with the paste. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil on medium heat and fry the onion, mustard seed, and chiles until the onions are golden. Add the coriander, curry leaves, and sesame seeds, fry for one more minute. Add half of the coconut milk and cook for a few minutes, until the oil pools a little at the top. Add the fish, remaining coconut milk, tomatoes, and a cup of water. Simmer until the fish is cooked through. Add the cilantro and more salt if needed, bring to a boil before serving.

Methi Chaval (Fenugreek Rice):

  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 chile serrano, or other hot green chile, chopped
  • 2 1/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • salt to taste

Fry the cumin in ghee for 1 minute, then add the onion and chile and fry 5 more minutes. Mix the rice with the fenugreek, chili powder, tumeric, and salt in a rice cooker. Add the fried mixture. Add water to twice the depth of the mixture, and cook until done.

Minimalist Masoor Dal:

  • 1 1/3 cup masoor dal
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 4 dried red chiles
  • 1/2 tsp ajwain seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 chiles serranos or other hot green chile

Boil the dal and tumeric in 5 cups water. Skim off any scum, then reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes, or until soft. Fry the chiles and ajwain in ghee until the chiles darken a bit. Add to dal and simmer for a few more minutes. Stir in the cilantro and fresh chiles right before serving.


About tandooritaco

This is a blog about food.
This entry was posted in legumes, pakistani and indian, rice, seafood, vegan, vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

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