Traditional Indian Fish Curry
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 120 minute
1 Monkfish tail skinned boned and cut into 1-inch pieces
600g large organic tomatoes
150 ml coconut milk
2 medium sized onions sliced
4 tbs ghee
1/2 bulb of crushed garlic
1 thumb sized piece crushed and chopped fresh ginger
1 tbs turmeric
2 tbs coriander powder
2 tbs cumin
1 tsp garam masal
3 spicy green chillies finely chopped
2 tbs chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon juice freshly squeezed
You might find it surprising to read that curry isn’t necessarily bad for you. This is great news because the British love affair with curry doesn’t look like it’s ever going to end; at least anytime soon anyway.
The problem with curry is that it is usually accompanied with lots of carbohydrates in the form of rice or breads. Carbohydrates are just nature’s way of storing sugar in the form of long chains of sugar molecules. When eaten, your body will break them down into simple sugars which cause damaging insulin surges, oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation. As long as you can replace the rice and bread with something else when eating a curry you have a dish with some interesting ingredients that are actually quite wholesome and good for you. There’ s been a lot written recently about the health benefits of turmeric but did you realise that Ghee, the fat used in curries, is a good fat?
Some people still struggle with the idea that any fat is good, and this is understandable. For the past thirty years or so the food industry has bombarded us with a torrent of marketing to convince us that all fats are bad and that we should instead eat their low fat processed products packed with carbohydrates and sugars. It is true that the consumption of highly processed polyunsaturated vegetable oils high in omega-6 can be bad for you. However, the simple fact is that your body needs fats or lipids. Not only is your brain made up of nearly 60% fat, it is a vital component of all your cell membranes. Eating good amounts of monounsaturated and saturated fats like coconut oil, animal fats and ghee, has been shown not only to improve hormone function but is also essential in maintaining skin elasticity as you age. This is important if you want your skin to look less wrinkly.
Like most curry recipes, this curry uses plenty of ghee. Ghee contains the good monounsaturated and saturated fats your body needs. Most of the harmful milk proteins are enzymatically modified during the butter fermentation process and all lactose and casein is removed when it is clarified into ghee. This leaves us with a good fat that is good for your body, good to cook with and is used in all the greatest curries like this Traditional Indian Fish Curry.
- With a sharp knife, cut a small cross in the base of your tomatoes and place in boiling water for one minute. Remove from the boiling water and peel their skin. Place in a food blender with your coconut milk and liquidise.
- Mix your turmeric, coriander powder, cumin, chopped chillies, salt and pepper in a small bowl and put to one side. In another small bowl mix your ginger and garlic together.
- Fry your onions in 1 tbs of ghee until golden brown and put to one side. In a large casserole pan heat up 2 tbs of ghee. Once hot add about half of your dry spice mix to the ghee and cook for about half a minute until the spices darken. Then add half your ginger and garlic mix and cook for another half minute. Now add your onions and your liquidised tomatoes and coconut milk and leave to simmer for about an hour until the oil separates from the mixture.
- While this is cooking, heat your remaining 1 tbs of ghee in a large frying pan and add your remaining dry spices. Allow to sizzle as before for about half a minute before adding your remaining ginger and garlic and cooking for another minute. Into this mixture throw in your pieces of fish. Allow to seal before turning to cook the other side. Completely cook the fish for at least 10 minutes.
- Finally, add your cooked fish to your cooked curry sauce in the casserole dish with your garam masala and lemon juice. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.