Yesterday was a lazy lazy Saturday. I woke up late, drank some coffee and sat around playing with my Buckyballs. Before you get started – Buckyballs are super strong magnets, you pervs. Get your minds outta the gutter! At 1:00 pm, I started feeling a little hungry and embarked on a ‘what the heck do I cook’ expedition. I thought for exactly five minutes. The local fish seller Yusuf went by the house on his cycle, hollering ‘pheeeeeeesh‘, and I instantly knew that I wanted seafood. I hailed him down and took a look at his stock for the day. I saw some decent mackerel and some prawns, but what really caught my eye was a magnificent little kingfish (surmai / vanjaram) that just wanted to be cooked. I got the kingfish cleaned and cut into neat little darnes and paid Yusuf three hundred bucks for his efforts.
I briefly considered frying up the slices of fish but finally decided to make curry instead. I placed a phone call home to make sure I remembered the recipes right, and then got started. I decided to make Shobha Aunty’s spicy fish curry – a dish thats been in the family for ages now – fiery gravy, heavy on curry leaves and coriander – a thing, to die for! I got started – washed my fish and set it aside. I wanted a good amount of gravy, so I tossed one and a half large onions into the blender and ground it to a paste. I heated three tablespoons of oil in a wok and added one teaspoon each of Cumin seeds, Mustard seeds, Fenugreek (methi seeds) and cracked pepper corns. I let them splutter around in the oil for a bit and then chucked in about 15 curry leaves and six crushed garlic cloves. My tempering started smelling pretty frickin’ awesome, and it was time to add the onion paste.
I let the onion paste do its thing on a medium flame, and went back to playing with my super magnets. Once the onion paste was browned, I added three teaspoons of ginger garlic paste (dissolved in a little water) and mixed it all about. I then tossed in some turmeric, five heaped tea spoons of coriander powder and four spoons of red chilli powder. Yeah. Four spoons. This curry is hotter than Megan Fox washing a Ferrari in summer. Added a spot of water and let my masala cook on a slow flame. I gave it the occasional shake about, and waited for it to get completely cooked. Once the masala began to leave the sides of the pan, I added two spoons of tamarind paste to the mix and seasoned it with salt. Adjusted the consistency with some more water and allowed the gravy to come to a boil. Reduced the flame to a simmer, and introduced the kingfish darnes to the wok. Once all the fish was submerged in my luscious gravy, I began to put the finishing touches on.
This part of the recipe calls for the curry leaves to remain on the stalk, so I took several strands of curry leaves and criss crossed them across the surface of the gravy. Trapped the fish in a veritable flavour jungle, and plonked a lid on to let it finish cooking. Five minutes on a low flame, and it was done! I love how seafood cooks so fast! This curry always tastes better if its allowed to stand for a while, so I let it hang out for a bit in the kitchen before jumping in.
While the curry was getting done, I’d cooked up the perfect accompaniment on the side – basmati rice. I allowed the curry to relax for half an hour and then piled my plate embarassingly high with fish curry and rice. Ate it. Graciously accepted the compliments that it evoked and then took a mini coma. Woke up at 8:00 pm and went out for drinks. Like I said earlier.. yesterday was a lazy, lazy Saturday.
If you’re still wondering what Buckyballs are, watch the video below, and be amazed. It’s the funnest toy, I’ve had in a while!
Over and out! 😀