Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Fish Kofta Curry.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

It's the 26th day of Ramadan!
Can you believe the month is nearly at an end?
I'm going to be honest here and tell you guys that the past couple of fasts have been the hardest ones for me so far. The hot weather that we've been having along with the fasts getting longer, has made the past week really difficult to get through.
My way to get through? Lots of rest whenever I'm free and not being too hard on myself if I feel like I'm not doing enough. Planning out Iftar meals has really helped too as has doing any prep work hours before hand to help make the actual time near to Iftar less stressful.
And, my way of coping with the heat? My beloved fan which came out of retirement last month. Although, does anyone else feel that the heatwave that comes your way when you turn the fan off is the worst one ever? Honestly, it's a never ending battle between fan off or fan on. Yesterday, it was much cooler here though because we had a really pleasant breeze, alhamdulillah.
Alright, let's talk fish kofta curry. It's a pretty simple recipe. The haddock and potatoes are steamed before being flaked and mashed respectively and mixed with all the kofta flavourings. This curry by the way, would make an excellant make-ahead Iftar option. Simply roll the koftas and chill in the fridge. Make the spicy masala sauce and take off the heat. Nearer to Iftar, fry off the koftas then add to the sauce and heat everything through. Serve with boiled rice or even as they are for a little something different to end your Ramadan 2017.

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Haddock
2. Potato
3. Fresh Mint
4. Fresh Coriander
5. Green Chilli
6. Cumin Seeds
7. An Egg
8. Tamarind Sauce or Paste
9. Semolina
10. Breadcrumbs
11. Ajwain / Carom Seeds
12. Black Mustard Seeds
13. Garlic
14. Onion
15. Red Chilli Powder
16. Nigella Seeds
17. Curry Leaves
18. Coriander Seeds
19. Tomatoes
20. Ginger
21. Ground Turmeric

Bismillah, let's begin!

Let's start with the actual fish koftas! I used 2 packets Haddock Fillets which were skinless, boneless and defrosted. The total weight of both packets was 800g. You could also make these koftas with cod or salmon too.

Place the haddock fillets and 1 medium Potato, peeled and cut into large chunks, into a steamer.

Let the two steam until they are both cooked through.

The haddock will cook faster than the potato so can be taken out earlier.

Flake the cooked haddock and break it up into small pieces.

To it, add:
1 Green Chilli, thinly sliced
A small handful of Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
A small handful of Fresh Mint, finely chopped (about 18 small leaves)

Mash up the steamed potato and add to the fish.

Along with 1 large Egg, beaten.

Next, ajwain! In English, they're called carom seeds and have a really strong flavour so be sure not to add too much.

We added in 1/2 teaspoon Ajwain (carom seeds).

Along with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds.

And, 1 teaspoon Salt.

To help the koftas bind together, add in 3 tablespoons Breadcrumbs.

I just used the golden breadcrumbs that I had in the cupboard.

Next, for a little sour note, tamarind sauce or paste! This is a homemade one that we had in the fridge but any will do.

Add in 1 tablespoon Tamarind Sauce or Paste.

And, that's it! Time to mix!

The best way is to just get in with your hands!

Once the mixture is well combined and sticks together when you try to make a kofta, it's ready! If it's not ready, add in a little more breadcrumbs.

Roll the mixture into equal-sized kofta balls. They should be about the size of a gold ball and I managed to make 17 koftas with my mixture. The koftas can chill in the fridge until needed.

Next, let's make our spicy tomato sauce. We start by tempering a few whole spices in hot oil. These spices include black mustard seeds.

Curry leaves! Fresh are better but I only had these dried ones so used them.

Nigella seeds - also known as kalonji.

So, heat a few tablespoons Vegetable Oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once hot, add in:
1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
1 teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds
1 teaspoon Nigella Seeds
8 Curry Leaves.
Fry for a few seconds until the seeds are fragrant.

Next, the onion. Peel and roughly chop 1 Onion and add it to a blender with a little water.

Blend until smooth.

Pour the blended onion into the hot oil.

Stir fry the mixture until ...

... the onion is golden brown.

Next, blend together 4 peeled Garlic Cloves and 1 small piece of peeled Ginger with a little water until smooth. Add to the pan.

And, stir fry until fragrant.

Then, blend 4 Tomatoes until smooth and pour them in too. If you prefer a chunky sauce, you can finely chop the onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes.

Also, add in 1 tablespoon Tomato Puree.

For the spices, in goes 1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric.

1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder - or as much as you want.

And, Salt to taste. I added in 1 teaspoon.

Stir everything together and cook until the oil has risen to the surface. You can add a splash of water if you want a looser sauce.

Let the sauce bubble away over the lowest heat whilst you fry the koftas.

Which we're going to roll in 3 tablespoons Semolina before frying.

Once rolled in semolina, shallow fry the koftas in hot vegetable oil ...

... until golden brown all over.

Once the oil has risen and you're happy with the consistency of your sauce ...

... grab your koftas ...

... and gently toss them in the sauce. Let them heat through for a few minutes before serving.

Garnish the curry with fresh coriander or mint and serve!

This curry goes really well with boiled rice, flatbreads or even on its own. The delicate fish koftas with the intense spicy tomato sauce are delicious even on their own!

Fish Kofta Curry.

Prep Time: About 35 minutes.
Cook Time: About 30 minutes.
Serves: About 5 people.


For the Fish Koftas
2 packets Haddock Fillets, boneless, skinless and defrosted if frozen (800g)
1 medium Potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
Small handful Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
Small handful Fresh Mint, finely chopped (18 small leaves)
1 Green Chilli, thinly sliced
1 large Egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon Ajwain (Carom Seeds)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon Salt
3 tablespoons Breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Tamarind Sauce or Paste
3 tablespoons Semolina, to coat the koftas
Vegetable Oil, to shallow fry

For the Curry
Few tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
1 teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds
1 teaspoon Nigella Seeds
8 Curry Leaves (fresh is better but I used dried)
1 Onion, peeled and blended with a little water
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1 small piece of Ginger, peeled
4 Tomatoes, blended
1 tablespoon Tomato Puree
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
Water, as needed

Cook the fish and potato:
Steam the haddock and potato until they are both fully cooked. Flake the steamed haddock and set aside. Mash the potato and set aside.

Mix together the koftas:
Into a large bowl, place the flaked haddock and mashed potato. Add the rest of the kofta ingredients except the semolina and mix well to combine. Use you hands, if needed. Shape the mixture into 17 koftas (golf ball size) and roll each one in the semolina. Chill the koftas in the fridge until needed.

Make the curry sauce:
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Once it's hot, add in the coriander seeds, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds and curry leaves. Fry for a few seconds until the seeds are fragrant. Add in the blended onion and stir fry until it is golden brown.

Blend the ginger and garlic with a little water until smooth. Add to the pan and fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Add in the blended tomatoes, tomato puree, ground turmeric, red chilli powder and salt. Stir fry until everything is well combined and the oil has risen to the surface. You can add water, if you want a looser sauce. Let the sauce bubble away on the lowest heat while you fry the koftas.

Fry the koftas:
Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the koftas, in batches, until golden brown all over.

Bring the fish koftas and curry together:
Add the browned koftas to the curry sauce and gently turn them so that they are coated in the sauce. Let the koftas heat through for 5 minutes.

Place the curry into a serving dish and garnish with fresh mint or coriander. Serve the curry as it is or over boiled rice.

Recipe Notes

  • If you prefer a chunky tomato sauce, instead of blending up the onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes, finely chop them instead.

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your fish kofta curry!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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