For Masala: 1 tsp. Coconut Oil; 2 tsp. Coriander Powder; a pinch of Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Dana); 1 tsp. Fennel Seeds (Saunf); 8-10 Black Peppercorns; 1 tsp. Mustard Seeds; 2 tsp. Cumin Seeds; 10-12 Dried Red Chillies; 1 Grated Coconut; 2 sliced Onions; 6- 7 Garlic Cloves; Water for consistency.
For Main Preparation: 2 tbsp. Coconut Oil; 2 sliced Onions; 5-6 Curry leaves; 2 chopped Tomatoes; 500 gms Fish (Pomfret); Salt to taste; 2 tbsp. Red Coconut-Tamarind Paste; 100 ml Coconut Milk.
Heat oil in a pan, add coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies and dry roast them. Now add grated coconut, onions and garlic, sauté till the onions turn light brown, add water and transfer contents into a food processor and grind into a smooth paste. Heat oil in a pan, add sliced onions, curry leaves and sauté till the onions are light golden brown in colour. Then add the curry masala made before and sauté till the oil from the masala separates. Now add chopped tomatoes and mix well. Add fish and a cup of hot water for desired consistency. Add salt, tamarind paste and the coconut milk. Mix well and boil for another 2-3 minutes. Garnish with coriander or fried curry leaves. Enjoy with steamed rice or appams.
Gado Gado Salad
An Indonesian delicacy comprising an array of vegetables served with a peanut based sauce.
For The Salad: 400 g Potatoes; 4 large Eggs; 400 g firm Tofu (optional, add Paneer instead); 1 tsp. Sesame Oil; ½ Chinese Cabbage; 2 ripe Tomatoes; 1 Radish; ½ Cucumber; 2 handfuls Beansprouts (ready to eat); ½ bunch of fresh Coriander; Prawn Crackers (optional); 1 fresh Birds-Eye Chilli (optional).
For The Peanut Sauce: 4 Garlic Cloves; 50 g Palm Sugar or Jaggery; 120 g Crunchy Peanut Butter; 1–2 fresh Red Chillies; 2 limes, juice; 2 tsp. Fish Sauce; 1 tbsp. Light Soy Sauce; 1 tbsp. Tamarind Paste.
Start by prepping all your salad ingredients. Peal and cube the potatoes and cook in boiling salted water for around 15 minutes, or until tender. Soft-boil the eggs for 6 minutes, or longer if you prefer them more cooked. Cut the tofu into 2½ cm chunks and fry in a splash of sesame oil for around 5 minutes, or until golden, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Finely shred the cabbage if you want it raw or, if you’d rather cook it (which is traditional), cut it into 2cm slices, place in a colander and slowly pour a kettle of boiling water over the top. For me, this is the perfect amount of heat to soften the cabbage, means you keep much of the delicious nutrients in there – feel free to apply this to any other seasonal greens you can find, too. Cut the tomatoes into wedges, quarter the radishes and slice the cucumber. Season everything with a little salt. Next, put all the sauce ingredients into a blender, peeling the garlic and grating in the palm sugar (if needed), then blitz until smooth. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning, making sure the acidity of the lime sings through, so tweak with more, if needed. Traditionally, you’d take a little bit of everything, put it into a bowl and pour the sauce over the top, which is a fine way to serve it. Pick over a few coriander leaves, add the prawn crackers and some finely sliced fresh chilli (if using), then show everyone what a celebration of food this is by getting them to toss together their very own portion. Enjoy.