Consider this fish curry a complete meal.
Once you master the delightful gamut of Indian flavors in your own kitchen, it will be kind of hard to have an appreciation for them in a restaurant, as you will do better each time at home.
I made this fish curry with Swiss chard, because a magnificent bunch was waving at me invitingly. I just had to take it home, and indeed it paired beautifully with the fresh tomatoes. But you can substitute other vegetables for the Swiss Chard (cauliflower, peas, small potatoes, sliced okra etc…)
Would you rather a vegetarian dish?
Proceed with fish curry recipe, and substitute 2 pounds of extra-firm tofu cut into inch cubes or unflavored seitan for the fish.
Cilantro is the subject of much maligning (only in the US by the way).
I always recommend tearing off the stems, and using mostly the leaves: It will have a much better chance of growing on you.
Tamarind powder is wonderful, tangy and tart, and easy to find online and at specialty foods.
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 1 2-inch piece ginger
- 5–6 sprigs cilantro, tough stems removed
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 1 tablespoon curry, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon tamarind powder (settle for 1 tablespoon lemon zest)
- 2 large tomatoes, or 5 plum tomatoes, diced small
- 1 large bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves, sliced thin
- 1 cup natural canned chick peas, drained and rinsed (skip if you are serving the fish curry with rice)
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup canned coconut milk (not the one marked "light")
- 3 pounds thick fish fillet (scrod, sea trout, Chilean sea bass, halibut, salmon, even large tilapia, etc.), cut into 2-inch cubes
Heat the oil in a heavy, wide-bottom pan.
In a food processor, finely grind the onion, ginger, cilantro and jalapeño, and add to the hot oil. Sauté until just translucent. Add the curry, cumin and tamarind, and cook one more minute, until just fragrant. Add the tomatoes, swiss chard, salt, water, coconut milk and fish, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook covered for 15 minutes or a little longer, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce thickens a little. Serve hot, alone or with rice.