Sunday, November 24, 2013

Felicity Cloake's Perfect Goan Fish Curry is Perfect

I have been using a lot of Felicity Cloake recently. She really is the go-to for classics, as her column and books are about the best version of a recipe, hence the title, 'Perfect'.  So when you have a hunch about what to have for dinner, she usually has a recipe to match your wont. Last night we wandered down to the fishmonger's and bought two hunky looking Kingfish steaks, which naturally led us to sniffing out a south indian curry recipe. Felicity's recipe was mighty fine and refreshingly simple. I tweaked a few things as for instance we didn't have any curry leaves in, but other than that we pretty much stuck to the plan. Notable were the 5 cloves of garlic which really completed the aromatic picture and I wouldn't have had the guts to add this many had she not stimpulated so. One mentionable change was that I grated the onions. This worked really beautifully in making a velvety texture around the meaty fish. Served with simple buttery cardamon infused basmati, this was indeed 'perfect'.

For the masala:
3 cloves
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 star anise
½ tsp turmeric
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tsp salt
5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3cm root ginger, peeled and grated
1½ tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, grated
1 large tomato, sliced into segments
165ml tin of coconut milk
2 fresh green chillies, slit lengthwise
2 kingfish streak
½ tsp mustard seeds
To make the masala, in a dry frying-pan toast the cloves, coriander, cumin, chilli flakes and star anise. When they are emitting a strong fragrance pour into a heavy duty pestle and mortar and give them a good grind. The star anise particularly need some elbow grease. Now add the turmeric, sugar, salt, garlic and ginger. This will gradually become a sticky deep orange. When you are exhausted with an aching elbow, add the vinegar. 

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the onion and sweat for about 5 minutes. Now add the masala paste, stirring for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and about 300ml of water and chillies. Simmer for 20 minutes or so. When the sauce is silky and thickened, add the steaks and simmer for a further ten minutes. Whilst the fish cooks, make a tadka by frying the mustard seeds until they begin to pop in a pan of oil. Pour this straight into the curry and serve. 

1 comment:

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