Things changed this week. All of a sudden after rain storms and hail all in the month of May, Summer seems to have arrived. Sort of.
The weather was beautiful on Monday morning, so we put up our summer dining tent on the deck. Each year when we do this, it's sort of like one of those team building exercises from Survivor and we try to get through it without killing each other or voting someone off the island, if you know what I mean.
Seeing that it was Meatless Monday and we had company for lunch, I decided that good Catholic Schoolgirl that I once was, fish would be ok for a meatless day.
I baked naan bread, and had Sanjanas' cold mango buttermilk soup and grated cauliflower salad, but I needed a centerpiece for the meal.
Fish seemed the perfect solution. Light, versatile and on sale at Sonoma Market that day.
Basa fish was my choice. It's a nice mild, firm-fleshed fish that seems to get along with whatever it's introduced to. In this case it was a mustard masala sauce. I originally ran across this recipe in the cookbook Ajanta from the Berkeley restaurant of the same name. This is my adaptation of it.
A lot of fish recipes involve frying, and things can get a bit greasy. I like to try and do things without all the oil, so the fish in this dish instead of being traditionally fried and then added to the sauce, is poached gently during the last step of preparation, neatly bypassing the frying factor. Happy arteries, happy life!
Here's what you do.
In a deep skillet or kadhai heat about 3 Tbs of vegetable oil.
When the oil is nice and hot toss in:
2 tsp. of mustard seeds
2 tsp of nigella seeds
When the mustard seeds start to pop toss in:
8 shallots finely chopped.
Stir fry it for a few moments then add in:
3 onions. Cut them in quarters and thinly slice them.
Lower the heat and saute them for about 15 minutes or until they've softened and turned translucent.
4 chopped tomatoes . Note: if you can't get great fresh tomatoes, use a good quality canned tomato.
Stir the tomatoes around for about 8 minutes or so.
Now for the spices. Add in:
2 Tsp of turmeric
2 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tsp of cumin
2 tsp of mustard seeds (pulse them in a spice grinder first)
2 tsp of salt
Keep sauteeing for about another 5 minutes and then add in
1/2 cup of ground almonds
Lower the heat and cook for another 10 minutes.
When the sauce has thickened add:
2 lbs of catfish, basa, or other mild firm fleshed fish that has been cut into 2 inch pieces.
This is an easy recipe, a real family favorite at our house and perfect for those summer fish sales.
I've also been baking artisan bread. The famous NY Times no-knead artisan bread recipe has been making the rounds on line and the minute I saw it, I just had to get into the act. I have a terrible bread jones and can't resist it in any form. They had me at no-knead. Alan too. I've been very good around this bread. I bake it, but I'm trying not to sample too much of my own product. Alan enjoys it for breakfast. Today I decided to go the whole wheat route and was very pleased with the results. So pleased I couldn't resist getting Alan to take some pictures.
About my Giveaway
As I mentioned before, our 1st Blogiversary is approaching and the people at Early Morning Pottery have given me 2 of their wonderful ceramic Chicken Cookers, and 1 set of Game Hen Cookers to give away in celebration. The rules are simple:
On Your Blog: Post about The Colors Of Indian Cooking and this contest on your blog
On Twitter: Tweet about The Colors Of Indian Cooking. (Include @kathygori in your Tweet)
On Facebook: Become a Fan of The Colors Of Indian Cooking Facebook Page here and talk about it on your Facebook status.
Become a follower of The Colors Of Indian Cooking
Follow @kathygori on Twitter
Leave a comment on this blog with a link to your activity.
Winners will be chose at random on June 14th .