Monday, 17 March 2014

Coconut Curried Pollock

Coconut Curry Pollock

I’ve been dreaming about a creamy coconut curry lately, so I picked up some pollock today.  Any kind of relatively firm, mild fish will do, and this cooks up quite quickly.  The flavours are towards Goan or South Indian.  I was given a mystery spice, but have no idea what it’s called.  I’m hoping I’ll have a local reader who can identify it.  Please drop me a line, and I’ll reward you with an amazing nicotania sylvestris!  See pic below.  If you’re not local, maybe we can negotiate something?

This dish takes less than an hour, and serves four.

1 tablespoon canola oil
What's this called?
What's this 1/4 inch long spice called?
1 teaspoon cumin seed
½ teaspoon mustard seed
10 curry (sweet neem) leaves
1 small cinnamon stick

1 mace flake
1 teaspoon cumin seed
5 seeds of mystery spice  (please help me with this, if you can!)
1 small red onion, diced
1 inch fresh ginger, sliced into matchstick pieces
3 Thai chilies, or to taste
3 cloves garlic, diced
½ cup powdered coconut milk
4 fillets Pollock
1 long sweet red pepper, diced
10 asparagus spears, trimmed and sliced into one to two inch lengths
1 cup arugula

coconut gravy
Powdered coconut makes a creamy, fast gravy.
Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan on high..  Add cumin, mustard seed, cinnamon and curry leaves.  Within a few moments, the mustard seed will splutter and turn grey.  Add onion, ginger and chilies, stirring. Reduce heat to medium.

Put the next batch of cumin into a spice grinder, along with the mace and mystery ingredient.  Attempt to pulverize.  (I will confess that my mystery ingredient didn’t pulverize, and had to be plucked out of the dinner while we were eating.  I used my mother’s method of cooking trickery, claiming any recipient of a strange lump was lucky, indeed.) 

Asparagus and arugula cook fast!
Anyway, add the garlic and let cook for a minute or so. Add the ground spices (including weird lumps) and let cook for another minute or so.  Add the coconut milk powder, and stir.  Add water till you have a fairly thick gravy.  Stir well, so the coconut powder is dissolved. I like using coconut powder because you can control the thickness of the gravy, not having to wait for it to reduce.

Add the fish and sweet red pepper and cook till nearly done.  Adjust thickness of gravy by adding a bit more water if needed.  The asparagus goes in toward the very end, and the arugula just a minute before turning off the heat.

Asparagus cooks fast, and must be bright green but tender when eaten.  Arugula only needs to be heated through in this dish. 

Served with a nice saffron rice, this is a quick but delicious meal. 

Coconut Curry Pollack

Nicotania Sylvestris anyone?  Please, please help me with this!

Arrows point to nicotania sylvestrus
Arrows point to the nicotania sylvestrus.  Husband person is in background, but gives an idea how big these plants get!  Drop me a line to let me know the identity of my mystery spice, and I'll give you one of these for your outdoor garden in late spring, provided you live locally.  I'll thank you with something mail worthy, otherwise!

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