How to Cook Your Fish Curry at Home with Confidence

Cooking Indian fish curry with British produce results in something truly remarkable. It is usually considered a complex task and an ingredient list can be extensive. It is also important to be very careful whilst cooking fish as your curry might mask the special qualities-its texture, colour and flavour. Because it is so easy to overcook delicate fish many people lack confidence before even attempting cooking fish at home.

I realised after I moved to Scotland its vast ocean was full of treasures. Seafood of Scotland in particular, is some of the best seafood in the world. Scottish salmon with few other seafood has secured the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status that ensures the traceability and sustainability of this world’s best-voted salmon.  From Scottish hand-dived scallops, Arbroath smokies, creel caught Scottish langoustines and crisp lobster from the Isle of Sky there is a whole range of delicious seafood delicacies in Scottish clear waters.
You can find these delectable seafood places all across Scotland, from Ullapool in the North West where Scottish cold water combines with Atlantic warm stream and Isle of Seil in Argyll, to the fishing port of Crail in Fife.  These special conditions make Scottish seafood the best in the world.

I grew up in North India where chefs like me have access to only 4-5 species of fish-Hilsa, singara, pomfret, kingfish and prawns mainly. It didn’t take me long to get fascinated by the abundance of seafood available to chefs in Britain. Indian spices when combined with local seafood available create a sensational curry. Sea bass, Monkfish, Sea Bream, Trout and Sweet Lobster compliment Indian spices tremendously well.
This is why I decided that I wanted to have Scottish seafood on Swadish menus simply because it is unique and delicious. Swadish believes in sustainability and innovation with authenticity. There is plenty of fish curry or appetiser options for Indian fish and seafood lovers. I have paired the best of Scottish fish and seafood with hand-made delectable spices to get the best out of them without overpowering the delicate flavour of the fish itself. It is such an important thing to remember whilst cooking a fish or a seafood recipe.

Before you decide to cook a fish curry at home, please pay extreme attention to a few other things such as:

                                                                How to Buy Freshest Fish

 

When buying fish bear in mind the fresher the better. You can ask your fishmonger where and when the fish was caught. Local and in-season fish taste the best. Buy from your local fishmonger as they normally do buy to sell to their local community instead of to businesses. Busy fishmongers will have the freshest fish and chances are that the fish has not been sitting for too long. Follow a few tips to ensure that you have the best fish for your fish curry.

Fish eyes must be bright and clear not dull.
Fresh fish smells of seawater, if it smells fishy it probably isn’t the freshest fish.
Press the flesh of the fish if it springs back firmly it is a good fish. If your finger leaves depression, walk away from it.
The skin should be bright and scaly without any discolouration.
Check under gills for a bright red if it’s dark, it isn’t fresh.
If buying mussels, oysters, clams and scallops check for any damages to the shell. Don’t buy if chipped. These should be alive and undamaged when buying.
Check for any bruising and damage to joints. Any blackening may mean they are not fresh.
Ask your fishmonger to fillet or clean for you as they are well equipped and trained to do this and they normally do not charge extra for this.

How to Store the Fish

Any fish cooked as soon as possible after buying reduces the risk of getting unwell. If you have to store your fish before you cook it, store it in an airtight plastic bag at around 0 Degree Celsius (32 Degree Fahrenheit). You will start to freeze your fish under these temperatures. If you need to freeze your fish make sure that you wrap your fish in a plastic bag or freezer-safe bag and store it in the coldest part of the freezer. You can freeze your freshest fish up to 3 months. Thaw your fish only in the fridge before using it.
If storing live shellfish remember it needs to breath. Do not wrap it in a plastic bag or submerge in water. They need to stay moist.

How to Clean Your Fish

Fish need scaling. To scale a fish you can buy fish descaler easily available online or simply place your fish on its side and use the back of your knife holding tail to scrape towards the head. To remove the gills, open the gill flap and gently pull the gills through the flap, then cut and discard. Trim off any fins with a sharp pair of scissors. To clean the gut of the whole fish, make a slit in the stomach and pull out all the entrails. Rinse with cold running water.

Fish Masala Curry Recipe

Ingredients for the marinade
500 g fish (Monkfish/Halibut/Turbot/Swordfish) filleted and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for sauce

4 tablespoons rapeseed/canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin Seeds
2 onions finely chopped
1 tablespoon coriander powder
2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste
4 tomatoes finely chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Water as required

How to Cook Your Masala For Fish Curry

In a bowl, combine all ingredients of marinade. Massage the fish of our choice thoroughly and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Start with oil in heavy-based skillet/non-stick pan, heat up oil and carefully drop your whole cumin.

Now add ginger and garlic paste and fry until the raw smell is gone. It will take about 3-4 minutes.

Drop your onions and fry cook them until they get brown tone, splash water if need to avoid overcooking or burning.

Add your powdered spices and cook them. Put your flame down for the time you are cooking powdered spices and splash water to avoid burning spices. Do not cook your powdered spices more than 2-3 minutes.

Now drop your chopped tomatoes in and put the flame on medium and cook the whole masala until tomatoes get pulpy. Now crush your dried fenugreek and sprinkle in your masala and stir it.

Add your fish pieces in your curry base and let your curry simmer until oil comes on the surface of curry.

Make sure your fish is cooked. Get a piece of fish out carefully with the help of a fork carefully and take a careful look by cutting it open and your fish must be flaky and opaque( undercooked fish will resist flaking).

Add chopped coriander. Your masala fish curry is ready to be served with rice or bread.

I sincerely hope that you enjoy cooking your favourite fish curry at home and if you would like to treat yourself or your loved ones with one of the best then Swadish is your place. Swadish has almost all of your favourite fish sitting on the main menu which has been carefully crafted using the best of Scottish fish and seafood supplied by the our local fishmonger.

10 Most Popular Indian Curries in Glasgow

Indian cuisine has become one of the most popular cuisines in the United Kingdom. In England, there are more curry houses than all the fast-food establishments throughout the country. Indian chicken tikka masala has become as popular as fish and chips, the national dish of UK. Glasgow houses some of the best Indian restaurants and Glasgow’s contribution to this popular cuisine was recognized in 2010 when it won the title of Curry Capital of Britain and that too, for the fourth time. Glasgow won the Curry Capital of Britain title in 2002, 2003 and 2006. It was runner up in 2004, 2005 and 2007. In 2016 the Glaswegians were ordering more curries than any other major city in the UK and it is probably true today too.

 

Here are to top 10 best Indian curries in Glasgow.

 

 

Chicken Tikka Masala

Claimed to have been invented in Glasgow, Scotland Chicken Tikka Masala remains on the top of the list of favourites of Glaswegians. Chargrilled marinated chicken cooked in tandoor in onion and the tomato-based sauce tastes heavenly. Cooked with ginger, garlic, yoghurt and a ubiquitous blend of Indian spice blend-the garam masala. Scoop it up with naan/chapatti or savour the flavour of this most popular dish across the United Kingdom with basmati rice.

Lamb Bhoona

Lamb bhoona is semi-dried lamb dish cooked in north Indian style. Lamb is slowly fried with a combination of aromatic whole spices in a casserole dish over a low/medium fire until they release their aromas. Equal quantities of sliced onion and tomatoes are added after ginger and garlic has been cooked through. This is a must-try dish in the best Indian restaurants. Scottish grass-fed lamb cooks beautifully with whole cinnamon, black cardamom and cloves. Almost every Glasgow based Indian restaurant serves lamb bhoona. A buttered smothered plain naan bread is best to eat with lamb bhoona.

Chicken Jalfrezi

Jalfrezi was a British invention and got hugely popular in the UK. It is hard to find anyone who does not love Jalfrezi. A thick delicious sauce is tossed with a stir-fry mix of vegetables and strips of succulent chicken breast. Smoked garlic, onions and peppers quickly fried in pan impart mind blowing flavours in tangy and spicy sauce. This dish is finished with fresh ginger and sprinkle of garam masala. A thin chapatti is best to go with jalfrezi.

Chicken Korma

Unlike traditional Indian Korma, Glasgow Indian food loves have come to adore coconut and cream-based korma sauce. This is a mild dish with the hints of sweetness. The creamy and nutty flavour of coconut and tender chicken chunks have becomes a British sensation. A good chicken korma sauce and peshwari naan bread (coconut and almonds stuffed) are all you need to make your curry night delightful.

Lamb Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh sauce is part of original Kashmiri cuisine of India. I personally, have come to love Kashmiri cuisine simply because of its simplicity and mouth-watering aroma. Traditionally, rogan josh is made with goat meat in Dampokhtak cooking technique (Slow cooking). Lamb shank rogan josh at Swadish menu has been the best selling dish right from the first day of its opening. Grass-fed Scottish lamb shank pairs very well with this Kashmiri flavours. The name, Rogan josh comes from the deep-red colour of beautiful Kashmiri dried red chillies and the use of alkanet flower/root gives this curry a unique flavour. The heat is toned down by sugar present in onions and yoghurt. All flavours are beautifully balanced with aromatic spices. Try mint flavoured paratha (Indian fried flaky bread) with this beautiful curry.

Garlic Chili Chicken

This is by far one of the most ordered curries in any Glasgow based restaurant for a good reason- it is seriously delicious. This is a blast of flavours in your mouth. Bursting flavour of this smoky curry dish can make you an addict. Onions, tomatoes, paprika and burnt garlic flavors this curry-like none other. Furthermore, Swadish chilli chicken curry is served with garlic flavoured chilli oil. All these flavours in a curry bowl make your taste buds go crazy. Try this smoked-hot curry in one of the best Indian restaurants in Glasgow. A garlic and coriander naan go great with garlic chilli chicken.

Dal Tadka

This wonderful creamy spiced lentil goes well with every Indian meal. This is probably one of the most wanted dishes on any Indian restaurant across the world and most of the Indian restaurants in Glasgow have Dal tadka sitting on their menu and it is the favourite of vegan and vegetarian dinners at Swadish. Ghee fried cumin, onion, tomatoes and garlic flavour this humble dish. Final tadka or bhghaar just before the dish is served transforms this dish to a new dimension. Dal is best eaten with boiled/steamed rice.

Kofta Curry

This is a real delicacy for any vegan/vegetarian. Koftas are made of mashed potatoes and vegetables like sweet corn, peas, mushrooms and carrots. Nicely spiced with cumin, green chillies, cardamom and garam masala these koftas are a treat. Koftas are shallow/deep-fried for a crispy texture. These can also be stuffed with dried fruit. Koftas are served tomato-based sauce flavoured with fenugreek. You can’t go wrong with a layered paratha with a kofta curry. Swadish wild mushroom kofta curry has been a hit with vegan diners and is unique in many ways.

Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

A classic Punjabi chana masala has become one of the popular side or main dish on Glasgow’s Indian restaurants. Often, chana is paired with Indian leavened bread like Poori or Bhatoora. Vegan/vegetarian dinners at Swadish enjoy poori and chana and it has been so popular that we have not been able to replace it. A simple onion and tomato-based sauce with the Punjabi styled masala blend make chana stand out from the rest of vegetarian or vegan options.

Saag Alloo/Paneer

Nothing more than spinach and mustard leaves saag stands out for its simplicity. Saag is mildly spiced with garlic, onion and ginger. Fenugreek leaves add another layer of herby flavour. Many south-side Indian curry houses in Glasgow are proud to serve this Punjabi dish in home-made style. Saag tastes best with flatbread. Growing up in Punjab (India), I learned so much about how to cook this green leaves based dish of Indian village household perfectly. Pair saag with potatoes, mushrooms or even with tofu to see how basic ingredients can produce an amazingly delicious dish.

 

Swadish offers the best vegan menu and a very unique take on the traditional curries on the main menu. Located on Ingram Street of Merchant City of Glasgow city centre, Swadish is one of the best Indian restaurants.