Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Indian-Style Monkfish Curry with Tomato & Cilantro

Often compared to Lobster, Monkfish's firm-fleshed and meaty texture is ideally suited for this warm, fragrant and delicious Indian fish curry. Inspired by a recipe from The Cooking of India by Santha Rama Rau, this curry recipe is simple, easy to prepare and absolutely addictive. Onions, garlic, ginger and kari leaves are sautéed in olive oil until golden brown, then an aromatic mixture of cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, cayenne and fennel seed are added, infusing the kitchen with an intoxicating mouth watering aroma. Chopped tomatoes, yogurt and cilantro are mixed into the sauce, producing a rich fragrant gravy into which sautéed monkfish are added, then simmered for a few more minutes. Served with jasmine rice, papadam and a selection of chutneys, this easy Monkfish Curry is a light and flavourful salute to my tattered Time-Life series of cookbooks.

The monkfish is sliced into 1-inch medallions

Onions, ginger, garlic and kari leaves are sautéed for 8 minutes

Tomato sauce, yogurt and cilantro are added 

The curry is stirred, covered and simmered for 20 minutes

The monkfish is seasoned and sautéed over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side

The monkfish becomes opaque once it's almost cooked through

The cooked monkfish is added to the curry

the fish is covered with the sauce and topped with garam masala and the remaining cilantro

Covered and cooked for another 15 minutes, the Monkfish Curry is complete

Served in a warmed serving bowl and garnished with some cilantro, the Monkfish Curry 
is delicious served with some chutneys, rice and papadam

Papadam can be easily cooked in a microwave covered with paper towel for 3-4 minutes for a crisp, low fat and excellent addition to an Indian meal

Jasmine rice with chopped chives, ghee and a sprig of cilantro

Homemade Coriander Mint Chutney for a blast of heat

Patak's Lime and Mango Pickle are mainstays in my pantry

Monkfish Curry
Serves 2

1 lb monkfish tail
2 1/2 tsp salt
7 tbsp vegetable oil
6 oz finely chopped onions
2 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
12-16 Kari leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds
4 tbsp water
1 lb can tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
6 tbsp plain yogurt

Heat 5 tablespoons of oil over high heat in a large skillet, until water flicked into it splutters instantly. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and kari leaves, and sauté for about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until the onions are soft and golden brown. Reduce the heat to low, add the cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, fennel and one tablespoon of water, and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro, the yogurt and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Increase the heat to medium, add the remaining water, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. 

Cut the monkfish tail into 1-inch medallions, pat dry and sprinkle with salt. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat in a small skillet, and sauté the monkfish for 2-3 minutes on each side, until each medallion is opaque.

Place the monkfish medallions side by side in the sauce, and sprinkle with the garam masala and remaining cilantro. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

To serve, ladle the Monkfish Curry into a warmed bowl, and garnish with some chopped cilantro. This is delicious served with basmati rice, papadums and selection of chutneys.

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