Thursday, August 26, 2010

Go Fish! Go Easy!! Plus, Win Some Shredded Coconut! Take a Chance!

 Summertime and the cookin' is easy. Well, maybe not easy but at least fast and if at all possible, quick.
  In a lot of hot climate countries, kitchens are not in the main house. There is a good reason for that. In a lot of hot climate countries it is simply too freakin' hot! I have always dreamed of one day having an outdoor kitchen. Of course I want an indoor one also, but mmmmmm that outdoor set-up with the wood burning brick oven and the grill and sink and....okay. Back to reality.
  I really can't complain because I have a pretty sweet set up here, and even if I did have that wood burning oven, I probably couldn't use it without risking burning up the entire hill and my neighbors' vineyard.
  Alan is my grill master (and a fine one he is too!) but sometimes when it's really, really, really hot, it's even too hot for an outdoor kitchen and my grill master. Because who wants to stand out in 110 degree heat grilling??
 That's why yesterday I decided to Go Fish!
   Fish at it's best is cooked quickly. This is contrary to all my childhood Friday fish dinners when fish was not considered done unless it resembled a composite roofing tile. This, despite the fact that I grew up in a city famous for its' fish and I am Italian. We're supposed to know how to cook fish. Supposed is the operative word here.
  Time passed, I started cooking Indian food and there are many, many, many, amazing Indian fish recipes. I love all of them!
  Since we were having an epic heat wave here in Sonoma I wanted something that would cook up easily and fast. Something that wouldn't heat up the house and that when combined with a simple spinach, coconut and peanut powder salad, would make a whole meal.
     I decided on Fish with Yogurt Sauce. I chose this dish for a number of reasons, the main one being that I happened to have all the ingredients in my larder, everything except the fish. Of course not the fish, because that would be...dangerous.
    This is a South Indian dish with a few basic ingredients. Here's how it goes.
   Start with 1 pound of a mild-fleshed fish. Catfish, Snapper or Basa. I chose Basa, since it was on sale.
   Pat the fish dry, cut it into pieces and set it aside.
   In a deep skillet or kadhai heat:
  3 Tbs of vegetable oil. I used coconut oil.
  When the oil is hot add in 1 onion finely chopped.
 Stir fry, until it starts to brown slightly.

  Then toss in:
  1 and 1/2 inch piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
  6 chopped shallots
  1 tsp of cumin
  2 tsp of coriander
  1/4 tsp of turmeric
  1 tsp of garam masala
    Stir it up and keep it spinning for about 2 minutes.
  When things have softened nicely, about two minutes or so add:
  3/4 cup of plain yogurt
  4 finely minced green chiles

 Bring this mixture to a boil,  add salt to taste, then turn down the heat and let things simmer for about 10 minutes.
  Pop your pieces of fish into the sauce and cook until the fish is done, most likely about another 10 minutes or so.

When the fish flakes easily, you'll know you're done!

   Chop about 3 Tbs of fresh cilantro, scatter it across the dish and there you go, in 30 minutes,  Go Fish!
     So on those days when it's absolutely positively too, too hot to spend much time at the stove, this is the way to go. Leave the hot outside, keep it on the plate where it belongs!
  If you'd like to enter the Tropical Traditions Organic Shredded Coconut Giveaway here's how!!
    If you haven't heard about Tropical Traditions Organic Shredded Coconut,  I'm going to be giving away 1 tub of this fabulous dried shredded coconut to a lucky winner. Here are the rules.
  1.) Subscribe to Tropical Traditions free e-mail Newsletter by clicking the link. They offer all sorts of product specials and cool free recipes.
   After you do this, leave a comment on my blog letting me know you have, and either Twitter about my giveaway (@kathygori) or mention it on your blog with a link, and let me know.
2.) Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Newsletter and if you don't follow me on Twitter, follow me @kathygori and Twitter about the giveaway. Or sign up to follow my blog The Colors Of Indian Cooking and let me know you've mentioned the giveaway on your blog with a link.
3.) Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Newsletter and mention my blog and giveaway on Facebook, then let me know you have.
    I have to add for the fine print here:
Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
    I'm offering this shredded coconut because I've been using it and it's great and I wanted  someone else to be able to enjoy it also.
  The winner will be drawn randomly through on Sept 1st.


  1. Looks great. Ya know I never have made an Indian fish dish. I need to try this.

  2. This sounds really delicious! It's great when you can whip up something this fabulous, quickly, to beat the heat!

  3. Coconut is an ingredient I love. I always try to maximise its uses. This looks delish and can turn even a non tasty fish ( read tilapia) into such a lovely economical dish!! good one!

  4. Oh wow, the spices in that recipe are amazing. I'd pig out on the sauce and forget all about the fish! This is a must-try for sure. I'm not a catfish fan, but I'm betting tilapia would work, right?

  5. Looks real yummy! I love combinations of spices and yogurt.

    Btw I know this is a silly question for an Indian food expert, but what exactly is garam masala?

  6. Having just moved to Bangalore from San Francisco, I appreciate how your blog uncompromisingly combines delicious Indian flavors with what's available in the Bay area.

    This recipe especially looks fetching and easy to make. I'll make it for sure.



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