Indian Coconut Fish Curry
- TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
- 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium serrano chiles, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup plus 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 8 curry leaves, preferably fresh (see Note)
- 2 teaspoons ground fennel
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes, drained
- Pinch of sugar
- 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 1/4 pounds skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1 1/4-inch chunks
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
- In a mini food processor, combine the shredded coconut, onion, garlic, serrano and ginger with the 1/3 cup coconut milk and process to a paste.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the yellow mustard seeds and curry leaves and cook over moderately high heat until the seeds pop, about 1 minute. Add the coconut paste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the ground fennel, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, cayenne and fenugreek and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of coconut milk and the tamarind paste, water, tomatoes and sugar. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits from the skillet. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Add the cherry tomatoes to the sauce and simmer over moderate heat until just starting to soften, about 1 minute. Season the salmon with salt, add it to the skillet and simmer over moderate heat, stirring gently a few times, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the curry with the cilantro leaves and serve.
Like most curries, this one will pair well with Gewürztraminer. Many of the best American versions come from California's Monterey region.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.