Friday, 27 November 2015

Cod Curry [Cooking For One]

I figured I'd try another reasonably normal recipe from the Cooking For One cookbook before I burn my house down with the weird microwaved stuff. This looks like a pretty straightforward fish curry recipe, though the option of yogurt vs. canned tomatoes seems like it would produce two very different dishes.

Cookbook Recipe:


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp plain yogurt or 2 oz canned tomatoes, chopped (this seems very weird as an alternative, it would change the dish's composition and flavour profile dramatically - not in a bad way, just that it would be a pretty different curry)
  • 1 small fresh green chili, finely chopped (they didn't specify what kind of green chili so I went for a serrano)
  • 1 sprig fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 oz cod filled, cut into 2 inch pieces (that's only like 113g, so I got the smallest piece of cod in the grocery store for this)
  • salt to taste

Following the cookbook recipe exactly:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion until "golden brown". Add the cinnamon, bay leaf, ginger and garlic pastes, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the ground spices and stir for another minute. (At this point it's going to be very dry, so keep stirring so nothing burns.)

2. Add in the chili, cilantro, and either the tomatoes or the yogurt - and if you're using yogurt, also add 3 tbsp water.

3. Add the cod and season with salt. Cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes. It does seem dry in the pan, but a sauce does start to form after a bit, but this recipe does seem a bit touch-and-go, I stood ready with a bit of water in case it started burning.

The Outcome:

It's not a bad curry, but it's not amazing. The cod flakes apart at this point and is completely overwhelmed by the spices, so you mainly feel like you're eating an onion curry. The addition of cinnamon is interesting, it adds a bit of complexity, and using a serrano pepper gave it a nice bit of kick (they also didn't make me de-seed the pepper to strip its potency away, thankfully). However, while it's not terrible, it didn't make me go "wow". I wonder if works better with the tomatoes instead of the yogurt?

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