Monday, January 25, 2016

Fish with fenugreek to warm our hearts

Fish with fenugreek

All those people lamenting over the lost winter season in Delhi are biting their frosty tongues now. It's windy and cold and the temperatures have dipped to finally. Yippie! After nine months of sunshine I love the fog and the mist and I would very well be happy to not see the sun shine for a couple more days!

So, to make the most of the season we have been having lots of winter food, such as hot Maggi (with veggies) along with steaming cups of sweet coffee (with cocoa powder sprinkled on top) at the cafeteria at work and chicken momos (with that extra hot chutney on the side) from the market near home. It is also the season to be lazy, curse the morning alarm, and relish those extra five minutes under the blanket on weekdays. Weekends of course are different. I have been making good use the season - cooking with an extra bit of oil, just because... well its winters! Last weekend I got some fresh fish and prepared a curry with fenugreek seeds and kasoori methi. I used aarh fish, which I suppose is a kind of catfish. I think any white fish should be good for this recipe. Prawns would make a fine alternative too!

Aarh is really, really soft and gets cooked in minutes. Its a bit of a pain pan-frying it at times, especially when marinated with wet ingredients. They tend to stick to the pan. But as long as you use the same pan to make the curry it is alright because all those golden-fried crispy bits just add that extra dimension to the dish :)

Season the fish

Pan-fried, waiting to be curried

What you need

750 grams fish, cut into pieces

For the marinate:
Salt and chilly powder, to taste
1/2 tsp, turmeric powder
1 tbsp, coriander powder
1 tbsp, ginger-garlic paste
1-2 tsp, lemon juice or vinegar

For the gravy:
1 tsp, fenugreek seeds
2 onions, medium-sized, made into a paste
2 tomatoes, pureed
1 tbsp, kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
Oil for frying
Green chillies, sliced for garnishing

How to

Marinate the fish with the ingredients under marinade. Keep aside for half hour or so.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the fish till lightly browned. The ginger-garlic paste tends to stick to the pan, so its a good idea to keep scraping these as you go along.

Once the fish has been fried, add some more oil to the pan. Add the fenugreek seeds and let it flavor the oil.

Then add the onion paste and fry till it changes colour and turns to pale brown. Add salt (and chilli powder, if you want it hot).

Add the tomato paste and fry till oil separates. This should take about ten minutes.

Add a cup of warm water and let it boil over. Then add the kasoori methi and green chillies. Cook for a minute or two and then put the fish back into the gravy. Let the gravy simmer for five minutes or so. Turn off the heat.

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