Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bengalese Onion and Tomato Fish Curry

I was on a bit of a curry kick.  I wanted something fast.  Fish and veggiecurries often come to the rescue in such situations.  This one grabbed my attention with its Italian like combination of onions and tomato.  How ever would the other spices play into this?

Adapted from The Curry Bible by Jackie Passmore

serves four

The Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs thick fish fillets, cut into tenders
1/2 cup flour
1 cup ghee, mustard oil, or vegetable oil
1 - 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground chili
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 fresh green chilies (such as Serrano) de-seeded and diced
3 roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 inch knob of ginger, minced
fresh cilantro for garnish

The Process:
Place the fish fillets and flour in a large re-sealable bag and toss until the fish is evenly coated.  Heat the oil or ghee in a large, deep skillet.  Carefully add the fish and fry until crisp, but not cooked completely through flipping once, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove the fish to a pan lined in paper towels.  Set aside.

Pour off all but 2 Tbsp of the cooking oil.  Add tomatoes, garlic, onion, and chili powder.  Simmer until the onions have softened and the sauce has thickened.  Add the sugar, lime juice, chilies and ginger.  Stir until combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste,  Carefully add the fish.  Simmer gently, bring the fish with the sauce until the fish is tender and heated through (about 6-8 minutes).

Transfer to a serving dish or warmed plates and garnish with fresh cilantro.

The Review:
This curry strike me an a wonderful introduction to the hesitant eater.  It boasts many of the same flavors of a well loved tomato-based Italian dish, with a little extra twist.  The recipe is easily adaptable to many variety of fish, though not all are created equal.  I had opted for catfish, despite my aversion to the fish in general.  The flesh ended up chewy and rubbery...with that muddy undertone that I can never quite overcome.  Swai or Tilapia would fair far better for the budget conscious, though cod, halibut, haddock, whiting or pollock would work equally as well.

The curry did make up for the awfully onion-y fish dumpling curry made a few weeks earlier.  It is a dish worth attempting again.


  1. The best way to remove that muddy taste from fish is to soak it for at least 15 min in whey or lemony water. Works like a charm.