Even though the cauliflower was the leading lady on the table we needed a supporting player, someone we could get for a price, that would get along with all the other dishes.
In the movie business there are a whole list of actors and actresses who'd fit that description. In putting together an Indian dinner the casting list gets a little shorter. A quick trip to the market and I had my co-star. Basa, that versatile, affordable totally cooperative fish. Here's a little headshot.
Not exactly glamorous but it gets the job done.
After a little trip to the make-up trailer so to speak...voila! Why Basa, you're beautiful!
This dish can be made with anything from catfish to basa to red snapper. Any nice firm fleshed mild fish works very, very well. The recipe I used is my adaptation of a traditional Molee, a creamy fish curry from Kerala. Here's how to do it:
Dry and cut 1 and 1/2 lbs of basa or snapper or catfish into 2 inch pieces.
In a kadhai or deep skillet heat about 2 Tbs of coconut oil.
When the oil is hot toss in:
1 large onion. Cut it in half and slice it thinly.
Stir the onions around for about 5 minutes or so till it softens. Then put in:
3 crushed shallots
2 green chilies finely chopped
Keep on cooking until the onion has become even softer and turns translucent.
Then toss in:
2 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of coriander
1 tsp of cumin
6 fresh or frozen curry leaves
Stir fry all of this for about 2 minutes then it's coconut milk time!
1 and 2/3 cup of coconut milk
1/2 tsp of salt
bring it to just below the boiling point then lower the heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
Turn the heat up a bit and let the fish simmer gently for 5 minutes or so, or until the fish is cooked through and ready to serve.
Check your seasoning. If you need more salt this is the time to add it.
Chop about 2 Tbs of fresh cilantro and sprinkle it over the dish. Stir it in and you're done.
I accompanied this with a hot pineapple sambal which I served in the hollowed out pineapple for the coolness factor.
Here's the recipe.
This fish dish can be made, and often is, a lot hotter. So, if you'd like to spice up your fish dish a bit just lean on the chilies. Remember though, always taste before you add more.
Coming up, a cold rice dish that "ties the room together" so to speak. Our adventures at a potato farm where they do things Old Skool and more about the Coconut Giveaway from Tropical Traditions.