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.

 Top 7 Indian Street Foods You Must Try Once In A Lifetime

       

Indian street food manifestations are like none other. Chowpati (Indian street food market) is full of mouth-watering and delicious foods. Once you find your go-to street food places, I guarantee you that you will go back for more. These street food vendors are masters of their craft and foodies find their heaven in these chowpatis.

Vada Pav

Vada Pav, also known as Bombay burger is by far the most popular street-side snack in India. This is classic Maharashtrian street food for Vegan food lovers and is packed with tones of flavours. Spiced mashed potatoes deep fried with crispy batter guarantee to tantalize your taste buds. Placed inside a soft roll and covered with coriander chutney and tamarind this little gem for foodies has been on the top must-try street foods from the streets of Mumbai. Sprinkled with Maharashtrian ghati masala it is a burst of flavours. It is Fiery, It is toasty. It is a must-try Indian Street snack. Swadish Vada Pav will definitely remind you of Mumbai streets.

Pani Puri

Pani puri or Puchkas are hollow wheat bubbles originated in the Indian subcontinent. A crispy round puffed puri filled with refreshing flavour bursting water, masala potatoes and tamarind. The whole thing is eaten with great excitement by most of the Indian Men and woman. It is the main street food for cosmopolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Bhel

Bhel consists of puffed rice, soft and buttery potatoes and chutneys. Totally a unique and easy street food and is popular amongst young people. It is a marriage of crispy masala vermicelli, fresh onions, crispy fried Indian puri, coriander chutney, imli chutney. A dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a refreshing touch. Bombay styled bhel is usually topped with toasted peanuts for extra crunchiness.

You don’t find any beach and chowpati (Indian name for street food market) in India where Bhelwalas (street vendors who sell bhel) doesn’t exist.
I had learnt this simple yet flavour-packed recipe from a street vendor in Delhi whom I consider the Bhel Master. I am proud to bring this simple yet unique street food on Swadish street food menu.

Pav Bhaji

Vegetables and potatoes are the cornerstone of an Indian household and commercial cooking and Pav Bhaji proved how beautiful this combination can be. Spicy mashed potatoes, Vegetables, sweet red onions, coriander and lemon with loads of butter results in this amazingly curried bhaji sauce which is served with a buttered roll and coriander chutney. The magic ingredient in bhaji is the native Maharashtrian ghati masala. This is the all-time favourite Indian and Swadish street food.

Momos

A migratory roadside street food from Tibet and Nepal has become one of the most popular street food in India. Momos are quite similar to Japanese gyoza. Momos are steamed dumpling loaded with hot vegetables or chicken has flavours one just cannot resist while walking on the Indian roads. Momos are eaten with fiery hot chutney made with dry red chillies, vinegar and garlic. I came to love these pockets of love in Himalayan city Darjeeling and love to eat on any given chance.

Kachori

One of the most sensational and loved Indian snack. Kachoris are deep-fried flaky bread made with sautéed ground lentils and spices wrapped into pastry made with refined flour. Kachoris are the popular snack of North India and Rajasthan. These are eaten mid-day snack with rasedaar aloo (curried potatoes) you won’t be able to resist.

Kathi Roll

Kolkata’s signature Kathi Rolls are made of think and soft tortilla wrap filled with a delectable filling of kebabs or vegetables. Treat your taste buds with these sensational filled wraps in style. Kathi rolls can be stuffed with chicken kebabs, lamb kebabs or crunchy vegetables layered with spiced lip-smacking chutneys and salads. When at Chaupati, a Kathi Roll is a must!

Bhalla Papdi Chat

Word ‘Chat’ literally means ‘lick’. This is what actually you end up doing while eating your Bhalla Papdi chat. Bhallas are dumplings made with ground urad lentils, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves and soaked in think sweet yoghurt and spices. Topped with tamarind, green chutney, sultanas and crispy vermicelli makes them stand out of the rest of the street food snacks. The sweet and sour combination makes it the ultimate favourite of everyone.

Making street food is fun and if anyone who has witnessed being in an Indian ”Chowpati” knows how these food stalls make people go out every evening and relish this street food of those expert chefs known as “Rehri-walas”.

Street food at Swadish is inspired by these street food hawkers and chefs at Swadish take this mouth-watering Indian street food goodies to a new level by using the best of the British produce and by presenting in a contemporary way.

 

5 Tips To Cook A Curry Like A Pro

The idea of cooking curry at home might sound a daunting one but with a little planning best results can be achieved.  Cooking Indian cuisine requires lots of practice and experience.  With dedication and guidance, one can learn to develop flavours and aromas.  Here are our tips to help you refine your cookery skills. You can learn to cook a curry just like a Pro.

                                

                                                                          

 

The best way to learn cooking delicious curry is to keep as simple as possible before you get used to some basic cooking techniques and understanding the mathematics of flavourings and combinations.

Complexity is the enemy of the execution. So, simple and straight forward curry is a good start.

 Prepare your ingredients beforehand

 

The hassle-free cooking process needs well-prepared ingredients before attempting cooking a curry.  Plan your cooking ingredients, equipment and measurements to avoid stress.  Clean your meat cuts, vegetables prepared, purees and pastes ready to be used.

This will significantly improve your chances to be successful and achieve desired results.

  Understand the use of your use of spices

 

Spices are the building blocks of any curry dish. Even a little overcooking will kill your efforts and undercooking will defeat the purpose of adding them. Frying whole spices will infuse deep flavours in your sauce which is essential for any curry base. It’s important that you carefully fry them avoiding burning them.

Ground spices should only be sparingly used. It’s best practice to fry them for 10-20 seconds with a splash of water to void burning them and ruining the curry base. A wet ingredient such as tomatoes, yoghurt, tamarind or coconut milk should go in at this stage without much delay.

The whole process of cooing spices must be done at low temperature.

You can further enhance flavour in whole spices by dry roasting them before grinding them to a powdered form or paste. This helps get rid of any excess moisture and release aromas. The essential oil present in whole spices is released in your sauce base giving out the unique taste and aromas.

Marinate your meats and vegetables

This is by far an essential way to create a sensational curry like an expert chef. Marinating your meats, poultry, fish or vegetables will overall improve your curry dish by imparting seasoning properly and help tenderize.

Marinade consisting yoghurt, vinegar, lemon juice with seasoning like salt, pepper, chilli powder etc. will interact with other ingredients to draw out new flavours.

Follow the ingredients cooking process and stages

Any curry needs to be layered with flavours. To get this right one needs to practice patience. ‘’Hurry does not make a Good curry’’ lol.  Introduce ingredients in order the recipe calls for and patiently cook each ingredient for an appropriate time. Sauteing ginger, garlic, onions to a varying length of time can result in a different taste and texture.

Adding ingredients in stages and cooking each of them will bring out individual flavours of each one which will make your final product a genuinely delicious.

Cooking Indian cuisine is a very satisfying and holistic experience in many ways. It’s a way to find joy and happiness.  Anyone can cook a curry with little patience and practice. Rewards will be delicious for sure.

 

If you are a curry lover who wants to learn cooking amazing Currys, feel free to subscribe to Swadish Newsletter on our website and get a Swadish recipe of the month in your mailbox for free.

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