Fish Curry ♯

Curry powder, as we buy it today, is a British invention, not an Indian one, intended to capture the flavor of Indian cooking without the painstaking effort normally required to customize spices for each dish. Curry became a great favorite in Britain at the end of the nineteenth century, and its popularity soon spread worldwide.

Today’s commercial curry powders, I am told, bear little resemblance to the freshly ground blends made in India. They are pulverized concoctions of up to twenty spices, herbs, and seeds; strangely, curry leaves are not included! Supermarket shelves stock two basic styles: standard and “Madras,” the latter supposedly being the hotter of the two. I use the former and add the heat that I deem appropriate later.

I bring these topics up because this fish curry recipe is not particularly Indian or Thai or of any other ethnicity that is known for its curries. It is just one that I have deceloped over the years and have come to like very much. I make it with much less piquancy than ethnic curries specify. If it is still too hot, feel free to reduce the cayenne.

  • 2 serving-size pieces of salmon or other fish fillets
  • 2 tbsp coconut meat, shredded
  • ½ cup nonfat milk or canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger root
  • 1 tbsp <brown sugar>
  • 1 tsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ½ cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 6 broccoli florets
  • 1 tsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 oz brown rice
  • 1 oz wild rice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp <salt>

Put the rice and olive oil in a small pan and stir to coat the rice. Add <salt> and water. Bring to a simmer and maintain for about 45 minutes until the rice is al dente.

Cook the curry sauce ingredients together and reduce its volume to about half. Add in the florets and cook another 2 minutes; then add the basil and cilantro and remove from heat.

Sauté the fish to your liking. Move to a serving plate, add rice, and spoon the sauce and broccoli over the fish, or over fish and rice, as per your taste.

Serves 2.