06/04/2013

Goan Fish Curry [Without the Fish Fraud]

Goan Fish Curry
Tonight, we had a really delicious Goan-style fish curry.

The impetus came from a couple of fillets of River Cobbler that I procured from our local supermarket.

This is topical ...

Hot on the hooves of the horse meat in beef scandal that we've had here in Europe, there have been stories circulating around fish fraud. Shock! Horror! Your Red Snapper might not be a Red Snapper ... it might be a Line Snapper.

Well whoopeefuckindoo! That's like saying your Aberdeen Angus might not be an Aberdeen Angus but a Black Angus.

It does go deeper, though ...

Farmed East Asian fish are being passed off as Atlantic fish varieties. River Cobbler is one such breed, often passed off as wild Atlantic breeds, especially here in the UK in our 'Chippies', where Haddock and Cod rule.

In conversation with our man at the PHD, he pointed me towards this article. So, while this dish is, in spirit, every bit according to The Perfect Health Diet, it is unashamedly from the dark side: The Imperfect Health Diet.

These River Cobbler fillets were Vietnamese ... the very fish being passed off here as wild Atlantic breeds, but I bought them for the knock down price of £1.59 for two good fillets which, I guess, would be twice that if they were labelled Haddock. Having eaten them, I now know the difference.

In order to know your enemy, first you must court your enemy.

So, armed and dangerous with some East Asian farmed fish, to work ...

I'm going to make a Goan-style curry, so we need a paste, a couple of tomatoes and a can of coconut milk and the fillets sliced up into decent sized chunks.

First, draw an X into the bottom of a couple of tomatoes and immerse them in boiling water. The water will release the skin.

While that's doing, make up the paste (for two people): an onion, a couple (or three) cloves of garlic, couple if mil of fresh ginger, couple of chillies, teaspoon of cumin, teaspoon of ground coriander, tablespoon of turmeric, halt teaspoon of fenugreek, half tablespoon of asafoetida, half tablepoon of black pepper, pinch of sea salt, splash of fish sauce ... blend.

Pour out into a skillet wetted up with coconut oil and fry off with the tomatoes, now skinned and smashed up.

Pour in a can of coconut milk.

Drop in the fish, simmer on a low boil to reduce slightly while you cook some rice.

Pure paleo folks can do whatever it is they do: cauliflower rice would be really good; shredded greens, lovely; steamed roots, as nice. Paleoplussers and Perfect Health Dieters can carry on ...

While the rice is cooking, add some freshly chopped coriander leaf and stalk into the curry along with some black mustard seeds. Not too much of either.

Serve out with a ramekin of rice upturned in the bowl, spooning the curry all around and garnishing with some fresh coriander leaf over the curry and a squeeze of lime over the rice.

River Cobbler

That's right ... a ramekin of rice, not a plateful, bowlful or an amount that would leave you bloated, uncomfortable and with elevated blood sugar, but a little, enough for the meal and enough to eat, enjoy and be replenished with glucose, glycogen or whatever you fellows more versed in biochemistry call it. I call it being replete. I call it not overdoing it.

Rice is an accompaniment to a dish, not the dish itself.

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