Saturday, December 23, 2006

Simple Fish Curry

It's the end of the year, deadlines looming large and work has been especially busy. On such days I really try to think of quick but healthy meals. I had already left the fish out in the morning to de-frost so it needed to be cooked and I had to supress the urge to sit on the couch and order a pizza delivery. In the traditional Bengali style I have seen at home fish is always deep fried first then added to the jhol (or curry). Though I love to eat it that way, frying the pieces is not my favorite task. It creates quite a mess with oil splattering around (needing much clean up afterwards), needs me to be around and most of all is not very healthy.

I decided to try broiling the fish instead of frying and I must say I was pleased with the results. It was not as good as frying the fish (and I would recommend by all means when you have the time and energy do fry it) but was much easier, healthier and the loss in taste was marginal. For simple homestyle cooking, I would certainly try this again.

The recipe is what we just call "tomato maach" or fish with tomatoes. The red color is from the tomatoes. You can adjust the chilly powder to your pwn spice level. Ours is not too high and the color is from the tomato, not chilly powder

1 lb fish (catfish/tilapia any white fish of your choice. I used tilapia fillets)
1 medium-large tomato chopped
~ 3/4 cup chopped onions
1 inch cinnamon stick
3-4 cardamoms (elaichi)
4-5 cloves
~ 1 tsp coriander powder
1 inch piece ginger (paste or grated)
1 tsp garlic (paste or minch)
1/2 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp turmeric
oil and salt to taste

Prep the fish:
Marinate the fish with some salt and turmeric.
option (1) Deep fry the fish pieces and set aside.
option (2) coat the fish pieces with oil (almost like marinating it in oil) such that it has a thin coat of oil on all sides. You could also use Pam Cooking Spray. Broil on high till the fish starts to turn brown on the top. Turn over for the other side. This took me about 15-17 minutes.

Prepare the gravy:
Heat oil and when it warm add the garam masala(cardamom, cloves, cinnamon) and fry. Add the garlic and onions and fry till the onions start to turn brown. Add the tomato, coriander powder, haldi and ginger and fry a few minutes. Then turn the gas low and cover and cook till the tomato has become paste like. I use very little oil so hard to spot if the oil separates from the masala, if you are a bit more generous with the oil this will be the sign to add some water. Once the gravy starts to boil, add the fried or broiled fish pieces and cover the dish. Let it sim for about 10-15 minutes till completely cooked. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.



Blogger Sandeepa said...

Lovely looking Fish
Even one of my friend always goes by method (2) of broiling the fish

I always fry it though. If you think it's a lot of mess, try sprinkling turmeric powder on the hot oil before you put the fish in and then cover and fry.
The mess is lot less (there is some definitely)and a quick clean up with a Clorox Kitchen wipe does it.

However broiling is healthier :)
Happy New Year

December 28, 2006 at 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The picture of this dish looked so mouth watering that I just had to get up and make it. It was quite simple to make, and the clean up part I left it to my fiancé ;) I used a whole lot of tomatoes and a dash of lime juice for a tangy twist. My fiancé and I loved it. Thanx for the recipe. Kashfia

June 17, 2009 at 1:00 AM  

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