Goan Fish Curry

Goan Fish Curry

Did you know there are some people in the world that have NEVER eaten a fish curry?  I know, I, too, am flabbergasted.

Fish curry, for those of you uninitiated in the experience, is one of the most delightful curries you will ever devour.  Providing, of course, you love a curry and are partial to fish.  I have noticed, coming from a fishing family, that those who have not been lucky enough to experience variable types of seafood from a young age and typically live inland, are not very good with fish.  By which I mean they pull an ‘oh no’ squirmy face when I mention fish and begin to jibber on about bones etc. at which point I have to change the subject.

That aside, if you tick the aforementioned boxes, you will find this irresistible.

The wee boy and I decided it would be a lovely thing to eat fish curry on Friday evening, so we bought all the ingredients we didn’t have in, including a bag of frozen Talapia from the Continental supermarket down the road.  Sadly, for one reason and another, this didn’t come to pass on Friday.  Undeterred, Saturday became designated as fish curry day.  However, according to the wee boy, it was puppet Dave’s birthday on Saturday, so I made a lovely batch of brownies which we all enjoyed enormously.  So much so, that when I tentatively suggested fish curry for dinner no-one, including myself, really had the appetite for it.

And so it was that we eventually ate this glorious curry on Sunday as, quite frankly, had we not done that, it would have been shelved for at least a week.

So what is in this now infamous curry, I hear you cry.  Well…

Whizz up a 4cm chunk of fresh ginger with 2 cloves of garlic, 2 deseeded long green chillies, and 2 onions.  Fry in a little oil until translucent then add 2 teaspoons of cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, and turmeric.  Stir for a couple of minutes before adding 6 large chopped tomatoes, one tin of coconut milk, 2 bay leaves and 2 cardamon pods, cut into two.

Allow it to simmer for around ten minutes.  In fact, I actually made this sauce the night before, but it’s not necessary.  Then add approximately 600g of meaty fish.  I used Talapia and salmon, but choose whatever you fancy.  Allow this to cook in the sauce then add a few prawns.

Just before you serve this delight, have a cheekie taste as you may want to add a little salt. Add a shake of lime juice (the juice of one if you’re going fresh) and sprinkle with fresh, chopped coriander.

Serve with whatever takes your fancy.

Midway through finally eating the curry, I remembered that I had forgotten to add the lime juice, which does give it a little extra kick, but is not, it turns out, the end of the world if you forget.  Also, as a little tip for those of you who like a curry with spicy heat in it, you could consider adding a couple more green chillies.

The important thing to remember here is, however you like your curry, making it with fish instead of meat, is a wonderful, dare I say healthy, alternative and one I can guarantee you won’t regret.





Chicken Stock

photo (76)

Now I don’t know about you, but I have a passion, some may say obsession, for using up and transforming food.   And I have to say there is very little that beats the satisfaction you feel when making a chicken stock.  It’s versatility has no limits, and if you want to intensify the flavour, you just allow the liquid to steam off.

So, this is how I do it.  Firstly, find a pan that is solid and happy to have heat underneath it for a long time.  I have a cast iron pan, which I think is perfect for stocks, but anything with a heavy bottom will be fine.  I then throw the chicken carcass and any other chicken bits that have not been devoured, into the pan.  Next I chop up a couple of onions into quarters, skins on.  Skins on?  Well, they add flavour and to be honest, you are going to sieve the whole lot eventually.

I also add celery sticks, and carrots.  Once again chopped with as little effort as you wish.  I’m not sure that chopping improves the flavour but I have style issues, and I think it looks better and therefore makes me feel as though I know what I’m doing.

As far as seasoning is concerned salt, whole peppercorns and a couple of bay leaves are all I usually add, although I have been known to occasionally include chillies, as chicken stock with a kick is great for soups.  Cover the whole lot with water and pop the lid on.

Now then, the next bit is the key to chicken stock success.  Put on the hob, bring to the boil and simmer.  For at least six hours.

I’m actually quite keen on simmering the stock for eight hours, often starting it off in the evening, turning it off when I go to bed, and then finishing it off the following morning or evening.   I’m not sure it makes much difference, but as it’s a third of a day this, once again, gives me pleasure and reassurance.  I’ve often wondered how people worked out optimum timings for such things.  I guess it’s trial and error.

Anyway, once the stock has cooled, but not gone cold, sieve.  If you leave it until it’s gone completely cold, the liquid turns into a jelly like substance (something to do with the meat fats) and it sticks to all the stuff that’s in there.  Pour into pots.  When the stock has gone completely cold, you can, if you wish, scrape off any excess fat. My personal opinion is that the fat from meat in a stock truly enhances the flavour of whatever you may be cooking but I am aware that for whatever reason, not everyone shares this opinion.

As to the type of container required, I have varying sizes of plastic pots in the freezer with stock in them, but that’s only because I have plastic pots in various sizes.

And that’s it.  Job done.  Just to add a final thought.  I guarantee the next time you cook a meal that requires chicken stock, and you take your own home made one out of the freezer, you will do so with a rather beautiful, self satisfied grin.