Ready to spice up your life a little? This Indian dish will add a little flavor to your hum drum winter night. And as far as Indian cooking goes, this one is pretty basic (although, you may need to pick up the curry leaves in an Indian or ethnic market). If you are not a fan of super spicy food, fear not, because this dish is very mild. You can make it even milder by omitting the peppers completely. If you like to crank up the heat, just add a couple more!
I’ve been dabbling with Indian cooking for a little over a year and, by far, one of my favorite dishes is a mild white fish in a coconut sauce. The coriander and ginger complement the sweetness of the coconut, onions, and curry leaves. I used Wild Alaskan Cod for this because that is what was available at the grocery store. Halibut would work equally well.
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh or dried curry leaves (You will likely need to go to a specialty grocery for these. Use fresh if they have them.)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed (You can use a mortar and pestle or the palms of your hands to break open the seeds. You could also use a spice grinder, just barely grind it)
2 dried red chilis with stems removed (or 1 fresh green chile, chopped)
1 can coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 lb cod or halibut fillets
2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoon ground cumin
A pinch of salt and pepper
For the coconut sauce:
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When it is hot, add the ginger and onions and cook until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry leaves, coriander seeds, and chiles and cook for 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk, turn the heat down to low and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened. Stir occassionally and start the fish. When thickened, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed (Definitely add at least a pinch of salt. The salt seems to make the curry flavor pop).
For the fish:
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Mix the spices together and place on a plate. Dredge both sides of the fish with the spice mix and place them in the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes (less for thinner fillets) on each side until done. Fish should just flake with a fork. If your pieces are not evenly thick, watch for some to cook faster than others.
Add sauce over fish and serve.
Broccoli or asparagus are nice accompaniments with this dish.