Over a month ago I had to make a difficult decision – whether to take a freelance job or fly to a retreat in India with my mum. In the end I chose the job over the retreat, as it was an opportunity not to be missed. This was a foolish mistake as unfortunately the job ended suddenly due to lack of funding and the day it finished my mother flew back from a wonderful holiday in India. I quickly looked into booking a flight but the costs were going up and up and the only date I could afford to go (after waiting for a Visa) was the weekend I have to move house.
So... my dreams of a holiday in India have been on hold but that hasn't stopped me thinking about Indian food - I have been practising dishes all week. This is a South Indian dish with the sweet and sour taste of tamarind. I hear that giant tamarind trees grow everywhere is South India, offering shade from the very hot sun and their fruits for cooking.
Serves: 3 Pescatarians, 1 Vegetarian
2tsp mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
Pinch of fenugreek seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
100ml tamarind water (made of 50g pulp and 100ml water)
V: Handful of cauliflower florets
P: Monkfish for three people, skinned and bones and chopped into chunks.
Prepare the taramind water by placing the pulp of the taramind in 100ml of boiling water and leaving it to dissolve for 10-15 minutes - using a spoon or your fingers to break it up. Sieve, retaining the tamarind water for use.
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and, when they begin to pop, add the curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and garlic. Sauté for a minute and stir in the onions. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden.
Add the turmeric and chilli powder and mix well, then add the chopped tomatoes, puree and some salt. Pour in the tamarind water and about 400ml of water. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, the sauce will thicken slightly.
V: Separate quarter of the sauce and add to a different pan, stir in the cauliflower florets and cook with a lid on for 5 minutes.
P: Stir in the Monkfish and cook with a lid on for 5-7 minutes.
Serve with plain basmati rice, naan bread and yoghurt.