“Freakishly good,” said my son, devouring his plate of food. “This dish is killing it… it’s doing it’s thing.”
(Translation: “This is a marvelous curry. The sultry heat and masala spices are uniquely satisfying…I’m quite pleased with the unctuous flavor profile.” )
Sid Sharma and I have been comparing notes for various Indian recipes since the inception of Ann Arbor.com. I adore Indian food but am often overwhelmed by the long list of ingredients and the time commitment involved in replicating authentic Indian cuisine.
Last month Sid sent me a recipe for a fish curry, written by Chef Anjum Anand, who is Punjani-British. Sid discovered her show, “Indian Cooking Made Easy” on Dish Network and tells me he appreciates her approach to cooking.
“She’s aware about the necessity of eating healthy, and has adapted her methods, so one ends up with very tasty dishes.”
Sid told me this recipe is a simplified version of similar dishes he’s eaten in New Delhi and Calcutta. He also remembers his mother making curried fish when he was a child. Sid used cod in the following recipe and told me it turned out delicious.
I discussed the recipe with Mike Monahan, of Monahan’s Seafood, asking his opinion as to other firm-fleshed fish that would stand up to the flavors of an Indian curry. He agreed with Sid that cod would, indeed, work well.
Then he pulled another fish from the case, and cradled it in his palms, lightly stroking the striations with an affection generally reserved for a newborn child.
“You could also consider using wild sea bass. It’s meatier than most white fish and has a great texture and buttery flavor.” He advised me to check out his most recent fish blog, and so I did.
He writes: “The royal, regal and mighty striped bass has an important history in our country that goes back to colonial times…We are so lucky to still be able to enjoy this most incredible fish. They have everything going for them! Good looks — big and handsome in the well-proportioned classic kind of way.”
Whew! Is this wild bass single? It sounds like an ad clipped from the Personal Pages. All that’s missing is one condition: …no strings attached. (Ouch! You must have seen that one coming.)
The following recipe was adapted from Anjum Anand’s recipe for Creamy Tomato Fish Curry. I substituted canned tomatoes for fresh and didn’t pure the tomatoes with the ginger and garlic. I decreased the oil, added butter and omitted water as the liquid in the canned tomatoes was adequate.
Chef Anand’s suggestion to make the dish leaving the blistered peppers whole was a revelation, solving the conundrum of adapting a recipe’s heat index to satisfy a variety of palates. Most of the heat is cocooned within the pepper, allowing the diner to chop the peppers into the dish, or not, as desired.
Killingly good with basmati rice and naan (Indian flat bread).