Thursday, January 19, 2012

Indian Style Fish Curry

I love fish curry with bread.
So my sister lent me this awesome cookbook which I think she doesn’t realize is still with me. It’s part of the Periplus Mini Cookbooks and titled ‘Homestyle Indian Cooking’ authored by Devagi Sanmugam.

If like me, you’re still learning to make Indian dishes at home, this recipe book will come in handy. This is also the recipe book I referred too when making this for the first time.

Growing up, fish curry was not my favourite dish on the table. I felt like there were too many spices in the way of the curry. I found that I couldn’t enjoy the taste of the gravy without getting some sort of little yucky tasting spice into my mouth.  Not high on my list of recipes to try, I nonetheless tried out this fish curry recipe hoping it would be a winner. And it was!

What you need:
2 tablespoons oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek
100g (1 cup) peeled and sliced shallots
Small piece ginger, sliced
2 green chillies, cut in half lengthwise (Sometimes I omit these if I don’t have)
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder (We like it spicier, so I add 2 ½ tablespoons chili powder)
80g (1/3 cup) tamarind pulp mixed with 1 ½ cups (375ml) water, stirred and strained
200g ladies’ finger, cut into 5-cm lengths 
2 tomatoes quartered
500g tenggiri fish steaks sliced ½ inch thick
250ml (1 cup) thick coconut milk (This is too much coconut milk for me, so I just add about 100ml coconut milk or less and 150ml water)
1 tsp salt
Showing them ladies' fingers some love. I love LF in curries!
What to do:
1)  In a large saucepan, heat the oil and fry the mustard seeds and fenugreek until aromatic. 
2) Add the shallots, ginger, green chilies and curry leaves. Saute until the shallots turn light brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.
3)  Add the coriander, turmeric, cumin and chili powders and the tamarind water. Cook for further 5 minutes, stirring well.

4) Add the ladies’ fingers and tomatoes, boil for 3 minutes.

Then add fish slices. Boil until fish is cooked about 5 minutes.

5) Stir in the coconut milk (and water), return to the boil and simmer for approximately 1 minute. Season to taste, then serve.

To me, this is the best South Indian fish curry recipe I’ve tried thus far beating out the Claypot Fish Curry tried previously. Personally I like the ‘sourish’ taste in the fish curry which stems from the tamarind water, so I make sure I don’t stinge on the tamarind mixture.

Tamarind (asam jawa) is commonly available from supermarkets in the form of pulp which must be soaked in water, stirred, squeezed and strained to yield a sour liquid that adds intense flavour to a dish. All solids and pulp should be discarded from the liquid before use.
Source: Homestyle Indian Cooking by Devagi Sanmugam

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cornflakes Crunchies

A tiny-sized portion of cornflakes goodness! What I love about these:

1) They are super easy to pop into your mouth. Only exercise involved is prying them from the liners.

2) I get to re-name them Cornflakes Crunchies (from Honey Joys as stated in the recipe) as I think they are better suited
3) My nephew loves them
4) They are super easy to make

They are also pretty addictive like most cookies. I first made a batch early last year and was both happy and disappointed. Happy because it turned out but sad because it had a weird after taste due to the cheap quality honey that I had used.

So this time, I upgraded the bottle of honey and also halved the recipe.

Makes: 40 mini-sized crunchies

What you need:

35g butter (softened)
100g cornflakes
1/2 tablespoon caster sugar
60ml honey
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

What to do:

1) Combine butter, sugar, honey and vanilla essence in a saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth and thick.

2) Place cornflakes in a bowl, add mixture, stir until cornflakes are well coated.

3) Divide cornflakes in mini liners and bake in pre-heated oven at 180C for 8 minutes. After removing from oven, leave them alone for 10mins as they continue to firm up.


Adjust the temperature according to your oven. In my case, I baked them at 160C for 10 mins cause my oven gets hot fast.

Keep them in airtight container. If at all they become soft, just re-bake at 150C for 8 mins.

And of course, the mother tip of all, use good quality honey!

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