Let's take a break from desserts with this post and talk real food (now now, I'm not saying dessert isn't real food!). Making a curry often intimidates people and most people reserve eating this only at restaurants but this one comes together very easily. Well, you can't beat making a curry with only 6 ingredients excluding the fish. Fish is my favorite ''meat'' (can it be called a meat?) and I love almost any kind of fish but my favourites currently include red snapper, kingfish or hammour. It make me feel ever so healthy whenever I have fish.
The rule with cooking fish is to buy it as fresh as possible. I still vividly remember those dreaded trips to the fish market in Dar es Salaam with my mom as a teenager, huffing and puffing behind her with my nose clipped and wrinkled to avoid the strong whiff, all the while complaining as she went form vendor to vendor, looking for the freshest possible produce. How I miss that now! Well, the one thing embedded in my mind from those trips is how to choose a fresh fish and it's pretty simple. You want to look out for pink gills, eyeballs that are clear as opposed to a hazy grey and lastly, believe it or not, but it shouldn't smell ''fishy''. It needs to have a fresh from the sea scent.
This recipe pays homage to the country where I spent a wonderful 18 years, Tanzania. Coconut is commonly used in Tanzanian cuisine from curries, to rice, to pancake and fritters. So you will probably see this ingredient featured quite a bit in this blog. This curry has a very mild taste and is traditionally served with sticky Jasmin rice cooked in coconut milk.
Pan Fried Fish in a Mild Coconut Curry
6 fish fillets (I used kingfish but any firm fish will do)
juice of 2 small lemons
salt to taste
1 tsp red chili powder (you can vary the amount depending on you taste)
6 tbs oil
1 tsp garlic paste
1 small grated tomato
3/4 tsp turmeric
2 cups coconut milk
Marinate the fish with lemon juice, salt and red chili powder. Heat half the oil in a frying pan and fry the fish on medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Set aside. In a pot, heat the remaining oil and fry the garlic for a few seconds. Add the grated tomato, turmeric and salt to taste and fry till the tomato has cooked (about 4 minutes). Stir in the coconut milk and keep stirring till the mixture comes to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer half covered for 15 minutes. Add the fried fish and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Serve with piping hot sticky Jasmin rice cooked in coconut.