Often compared to Lobster, Monkfish's firm-fleshed and meaty texture is ideally suited for this warm, fragrant and delicious Indian fish curry. Inspired by a recipe from The Cooking of India by Santha Rama Rau, this curry recipe is simple, easy to prepare and absolutely addictive. Onions, garlic, ginger and kari leaves are sautéed in olive oil until golden brown, then an aromatic mixture of cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, cayenne and fennel seed are added, infusing the kitchen with an intoxicating mouth watering aroma. Chopped tomatoes, yogurt and cilantro are mixed into the sauce, producing a rich fragrant gravy into which sautéed monkfish are added, then simmered for a few more minutes. Served with jasmine rice, papadam and a selection of chutneys, this easy Monkfish Curry is a light and flavourful salute to my tattered Time-Life series of cookbooks.
1 lb monkfish tail
2 1/2 tsp salt
7 tbsp vegetable oil
6 oz finely chopped onions
2 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
12-16 Kari leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds
4 tbsp water
1 lb can tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
6 tbsp plain yogurt
Heat 5 tablespoons of oil over high heat in a large skillet, until water flicked into it splutters instantly. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and kari leaves, and sauté for about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until the onions are soft and golden brown. Reduce the heat to low, add the cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, fennel and one tablespoon of water, and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro, the yogurt and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Increase the heat to medium, add the remaining water, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Cut the monkfish tail into 1-inch medallions, pat dry and sprinkle with salt. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat in a small skillet, and sauté the monkfish for 2-3 minutes on each side, until each medallion is opaque.
Place the monkfish medallions side by side in the sauce, and sprinkle with the garam masala and remaining cilantro. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
To serve, ladle the Monkfish Curry into a warmed bowl, and garnish with some chopped cilantro. This is delicious served with basmati rice, papadums and selection of chutneys.