Summer has arrived, well at least in spirit, the weather seems to remind me of the rainy shadowy city of my childhood – Kolkata. It is possibly nostalgia that colors my perception, but the best part of Kolkata is its ability of maintain a calm pace amidst the hustle and bustle, rain puddles and yes, the streams of people. A hallmark of the Kolkata monsoon is the coveted Hilsa fish, which in all this hustle and bustle is an extreme rarity on our table. That with an eye towards eating green and sustainable, I try to avoid fish being shipped halfway across the world restricting my emphasis and focus on local wild caught fish. Today’s rainy day fare was a simple and down home style, Fish Curry with Potatoes and Cauliflower.
The last few weeks of school reach a heady crescendo, with school trips and events filling every waking day. It is also a busy time at work, with the fiscal year ending and budgets and ramp up planning for the next year. A year ends and planning for the new fiscal year begins. All of this makes me pause in reflect on the many begins and new years that I stumble into through the course of the year. All mark different beginnings, yet all of them allow an opportunity to pause, reflect and start afresh.
Sunday evening was a day I was tired beyond measure, so I turned to this fish curry that served as an one dish meal built in with vegetables and fish served with steaming hot white rice. Yes, a meal that is fairly Bengali in its roots and overall super comforting. I am expecting mom to be visiting pretty soon and so I am getting ready for her visit.
Given that I have been fussing around with this post for all of three days now, it looks like I shall be some what sparing on my blog. I am determined to take more time with her, and enjoy these weeks in a slow and measured pace.
A simple Bengali inspired fish curry with cauliflower, coconut and fragrant garden cilantro.
- 11/2 pounds of tilapia fillet, cut into 2 inch sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons oil (preferably mustard oil)
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds or panchphoron
- 1 medium sized red onion, cut into a fine dice
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger paste
- 1 medium head (about 3/4 pound) of cauliflower
- 1 medium sized potato, peeled,halved and thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 medium sized tomatoes
- 2 green chilies finely chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 3/4 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro
- Rub the tilapia with the turmeric and the salt and set aside.
- Heat the oil and add in the nigella seeds or the panchphoron and wait until the seeds begin to crackle.
- Add in the onion and the ginger and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the onions soften and begin to turn gently golden.
- Add in the cauliflower and the potato and add in a little salt and mix well.
- Cover and steam cook the vegetables for 6 to 7 minutes.
- Remove the cover and add in the tomato and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Gently add in the fish and the green chilies.
- Add in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer and mix in the water.
- Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are well done and the fish is soft and the flavors are well mixed.
- The sauce should also thicken at this time.
- Garnish with the cilantro and serve with steamed rice.