The quickest, easiest Goan fish curry
Last week, I wrote out a recipe for a fish curry that combined ingredients from Kerala and Goa.
Since then, I’ve had many requests for a basic Goan fish-curry recipe. Here’s the quickest, easiest way to make a Goan fish curry at home.)
Cooking time: 10 minutes.
# Throw some crushed garlic—at least 15 small pods for half a kilo of fish—in oil that’s hot but not smoking. Gas: medium heat.
# When the garlic begins to brown, throw in 3 tsps of red chilli powder and half a tsp of turmeric. Stir for a minute
# Reduce heat and empty a can of coconut milk (freely available at any major grocery store, or use coconut powder. If you have the time, squeeze it fresh from grated coconut). Stir so that coconut milk takes on the colour of the spices.
# When curry starts to heat, add in a handful of kokum (INA market in Delhi, every market in Bombay, dunno where in Bangalore). Make sure the heat is low.
# Add half a kg of fresh fish (no need to marinate). Add salt. Shake the vessel to move the fish pieces around. Don’t poke around with a spoon.
It should be ready to eat in 6-7 minutes.
When I was a kid, my grandmother always tried to make me eat palak (spinach) by promising that her fantastic fish curry would follow. Maka naka! I don’t want it, was always my angry response. It didn’t work, most of the time. But as I grew older, I just stopped eating palak’. I do know. Actually, it’s the only vegetable I don’t mind eating today. Ironic.
For my grandmother—a simple, wonderful woman who was never educated but tried to teach herself to read, painstakingly reading alphabet by alphabet—there was none of this coconut-milk-in-a-can nonsense.
Her curries were tremendously more complex than my basic curry. Goan fish curries can get quite intricate, with lots of grinding and pounding of spices, onions and vinegars. But I don’t know many people who have the time and patience to run through these complexities. When I have more time, I’ll run you through some of the more difficult curries.
Until then, you can be assured this one will do very nicely. I just cooked it two days ago, and it was a hit. In the land of the blind …