Curries are one of those foods you could spend your whole life experimenting with because so much of the body is in the spices. A slight addition or variation can change the entire mood and activate different pleasure center synapses.
Here’s a curry that has a creamy sweetness to it that’s balanced off nicely with a no-nonsense fillet of fish. But it gets even better; it’s done in 20 minutes.
The coriander seed is an integral part of this recipe for it’s nutty sweetness, but also for the wonders of health it provides. Coriander seeds have a surprisingly high amount of Vitamin C, which is rare for dried herbs. They’re also soothing for the intestinal tract (ground of course), helpful in reducing and balancing blood sugar, and anti-inflammatory.
A highly alkalizing and fibrous food, they nurture the digestive and nervous systems. They also posses antioxidants to fight cancers, and a whole slew of essential minerals. It even has antibiotic properties that fight salmonella!
I grind them myself with a mortar and pestle, rather than buy them pre-ground. It’s an easy step that can increase your nutritional intake by a fairly handsome margin. Plus it’ll taste fresher.
Another essential spice for this particular curry is actually five spices all in one. The aptly named: Five Spice Powder. Five spice is an ancient and brilliant combination of cinnamon, anise, fennel, cloves and pepper. Sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty. Five spice has it all, and it adds a lot to a dish.
Go ahead and get that one pre-made. Seems like a lot of effort to grind up yourself. Of course if you’re feeling adventurous, go for it!
I’ve found the best way to get a base for curry is to blend an onion into a paste and pour it over your toasting spices. After a few minutes of letting the onion paste and spices bind together, add coconut milk and let it simmer for a few minutes or as long as you like.
Obviously, if you let it simmer for 40 minutes, you’ll get a more flavorful curry. But if you’re hungry and it’s Tuesday night and you just want to eat already, just 10 minutes will be fine.
During those 10 minutes (or during the last 10 if you’re letting it simmer for longer) fry your fish. It takes no time at all and makes a great juicy fillet to plop down as a centerpiece for your curry.
My method is to melt a tsp of ghee or Tbs of olive oil and salt and pepper the pan. Let it get hot and then add your fish. You should hear a nice, satisfying sizzle as it hits the pan. Salt and pepper the other side as it cooks. Give it 5 minutes or so depending on how thick your fillet is, then flip for about the same amount of time. It’s done when it’s opaque and hot in the middle.
And this is what you get. Creamy, sweet-ish, spicy-ish decedent curry with an even-toned salt and pepper cod. Minimal effort, maximum benefit.
What are some of your favorite curry spice combinations?
- 1 tsp Five Spice Powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Coriander seeds (freshly ground if possible)
- ½ tsp Cardamom
- ½ tsp Cumin
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Sea salt
- 5 curry leaves
- 1 One inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
- 2 Cloves garlic minced
- 1 Large yellow onion
- 1 Can coconut milk (full fat)
- ½ lb wild caught fresh cod
- 1 tsp ghee OR 1 Tbs olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the Curry:
- Toast the spices in a large pan over medium heat.
- Rough chop the onion and purée in a blender or food processor.
- Once the spices are fragrant, add the onion purée to the pan.
- Stir to combine and let simmer for 3 minutes, while you open a can of coconut milk.
- Add the coconut milk to the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 10-40 minutes as desired.
- For the Cod:
- Melt the ghee or heat the oil in a medium-sized pan over medium high heat.
- Salt and pepper the pan while it heats up.
- Once it's hot enough to sear the fish, add the cod and cook through for 3 -5 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet. Salt and pepper the other side while it cooks.
- Flip the fish and cook for about the same amount of time or until the flesh is opaque and hot in the middle.
- Serve the curry in a bowl or rounded plate with the cod as the centerpiece.