We all are taken pretty surprised about the weather for past couple of days here. And when the sun is out shinning full bloom, there are plenty of reasons to get inspired and cook some alluring food for a change. I know, not that pleasant back home. I know it leaves you feel exhausted and drained feeling really miserable, and if you have to work in kitchen and that too in this full blown summer days, then God save. As for the mild summer weather we have these days, I would say it’s pretty rare here, so it leaves us feeling refreshed after many gloomy patches of rain and even more rain. Parks are busy now, sun glasses and sun block lotions are selling high , picnic mats can be seen everywhere, families going out in parks, barbecue and beer sessions and also sun and sand , not to forget beaches. And everybody is doing what they suppose or wish to do when the summer really arrives in this part of the world, - basking the glory of summer.
Last time while grocery and vegetable shopping, I came across some fresh sardines, Uho! Fresh means not jumping out and alive calling out loud my name. Remember there was an ad where a Bengali Badhralok was holding a big fish in his hands and saying something ..It's a complete wash-out here , can't recall much about that ad ... My ecstasy was just like that or may be I was just pretending it to be. There was not a single fish competing with a Bengali bhadralok’s fish that day ,which I can get hold of, holding high and showing everybody look here what a great catch this beauty is. So, while like a mirage I am in, I zeroed upon these. And oh! I stayed home rather going out in park for a change and cooked this fish curry instead of barbecuing or grilling them.And made some raspberry jellies and served with ice-creams. Yum. Well not in picture, some times all you need is to enjoy the food…isn't!
Sardines or small pilchards have similar flavor like what our own hilsa /ilish fish has. This is oily, and full of nutrients. I don’t think I need to add all that gyan for sardine fish nutrients, people here are wise enough, thanks to wiki and many other net articles out floating in net these days. And then there is a fruit which is source of good fats. No, don’t roll eyes, yes avocado provide good fats essential for skin and hair. People have loved guacamole, salsa, paratha and what not, I would say next time try adding them in your fish curry. They gel very well with tomatoes and fish.
Avocado Cherry Tomato Sardine Fish Curry
Recipe requirements ( Serves 3-4)Sardine fish- 4-5
10-15 cherry tomatoes
1 medium size potato
½ inch ginger grated
½ tsp of turmeric powder+ some more for marinating sardines
1 ½ tsp of hot red pepper powder
2 tsp of dhania/coriander powder
1 tsp of cumin powder
½ tsp of hing asfoetida
Salt as per taste + some more for marinating sardines
2 -3 tbs of cooking oil/mustard oil
½ tsp of kalo jerrey/nigella seeds
2 green chilies
2tbs of freshly prepared mustard seed paste
Clean them and remove scales by rubbing your fingers or nails over it.Ok I do it the with side of potato peeler.Just run thro slowly from tail working towards head.Clean them well in water.
Smear some turmeric powder and salt over sardines. Let it sit for half an hour.
Now if you wish you may shallow fry them in hot oil, or may add directly to the gravy to be cooked with other vegetables –potato, tomato and of course avocadoes.
Now heat up a saucepan, add cooking oil, and temper this with Kalo jeerey/nigella seeds. Many a times I do forget to temper it with kalo jeerey.If you don’t have it, no need to temper it with nigella seeds. Just ginger and asfoatida will work fine.
Add grated ginger and hing or asfoetida.Fry it for about half a minute.
Now add in cubed potato and cherry tomatoes.
Fry all for 4-5 mints more. Now add the dry seasonings- turmeric, red pepper, and coriander and cumin powder.
Add in cut avocado cubes and sardines. Add in slit green chilies.
Adjust salt. Add about half cup of water, cover it and let it simmer at med-low flame till the entire gravy turns out mushy or the potatoes are cooked and can be mashed easily.
Sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve.
Ripened avocado will turn out very mushy in the gravy. So, I would suggest using avocado which are firm but yet edible.
Normal tomato can be used in place of cherry tomatoes. Other vegetables like red bell pepper or baby corn can also be added.
Other fish like- tilapia, haddock or white fish fillet can be replaced with sardines.
And most important, while this time I didn't add mustard paste to it, but I do also add shorshe bata at the end to give a nice and spicy flavour.Just add about 2 heaped tbs of freshly prepared black mustard seed paste and mix it very well.You may add dijon mustard as well but then about 1 tsp is sufficient.If adding mustard paste then you may avoid adding coriander+cumin powder+hing.These spices over powers mustard paste tangy and spicy flavour.
Wish all of you a nice and relaxing weekend.
Happy Cooking Friends.