Recipe: Curried Striped Bass with Tomatoes and Peppers
The following recipe was adapted from Anjum Anand's recipe for Creamy Tomato Fish Curry. I substituted canned tomatoes for fresh and didn't purée the tomatoes with the ginger and garlic. I decreased the oil, added butter and omitted water as the liquid in the canned tomatoes was adequate. Chef Anand's suggestion to make the dish leaving the blistered peppers whole was a revelation, solving the conundrum of adapting a recipe's heat index to satisfy a variety of palates. Most of the heat is cocooned within the pepper, allowing the diner to chop the peppers into the dish, or not, as desired.
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 45 minutes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 cup white or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3-5 hot green chillies, left whole or cut in half, lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed*
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 tablespoon plus a teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter or ghee, optional
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1½-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, optional
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream, optional
- 1 1/2 pounds firm fleshed fish, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus extra sprigs for garnish, if desired
*Cutting the peppers will increase the heat permeating the entire dish; leaving them whole allows individuals to monitor the heat level to preferred heat tolerance.
1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the mustard seeds and once they have popped, add the onions and green chillies. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown and peppers are blistered on each side, 5-8 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, ginger, garlic, spices and butter, if using.
3. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10-12 minutes or until just beginning to thicken. Add the vinegar and cream, if using; bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until it is creamy, 3-4 minutes; if sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon or so water. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the fish and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes or until just cooked through. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
4. Stir in cilantro and serve immediately, garnished with fresh cilantro sprigs, if using.
This recipe was adapted by Peggy Lampman and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on March 24, 2011.