I made an unintentionally super delicious fish curry at the weekend and when I say unintentionally I mean, I did set out to make fish curry, but didn’t realise it would be so amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever made a fish curry before. I had a lovely big fillet of cod that I’d defrosted and I was throwing things together a bit and using up the veg in the fridge…it turned into a very happy food accident!
I also made a surprising delicious type of flatbread using gram flour which was inspired by something called Socca. They make it in Italy originally using gram flour, which is chickpea flour, and just mix equal amounts of flour and water and add some olive oil. That’s it! It looks great doesn’t it!
You can get gram flour in all the supermarkets nowadays right with the regular flour blends. I really recommend getting a bag. It’s very versatile and a little goes a long way. Traditionally it’s used for making things like onion bhajjis as it’s good for making a batter that sticks, it has a neutral savoury flavour and a lovely light yellow colour. It’s high in protein, grain free and nut free so it’s also great if you eat Paleo. I’ve seen it used in recipes for omelettes, crepes, pancakes, crispy coatings on anything, thickening up a sauce and all different types of indian breads.
For my flatbread, because I was serving it with a curry, I experimented with adding chilli powder, garlic powder and fresh coriander to the batter. It was lovely and light, spicy, herby and just right for dipping into a saucy curry.
I’m keen to make some more already coz I reckon it’s such a fab base for flavours that you could go crazy with all the different versions you could make. I’m thinking of using it as a pizza base, loaded with fresh herbs like basil and oregano. You could use it to accompany an Indian curry and mix through cumin and coriander. You could add turmeric or cayenne if you want it super spicy. Or you could leave it virgin just with salt & pepper and use it like a tortilla for wrapping up into a sandwich style roll. I wonder if you could turn it sweet and loosen the batter to make it more like a thin pancake with lemon and cinnamon? Hmmm. Food for thought.
You will need this:
- 1 cup of gram flour (also called chickpea, garbanzo bean or besan flour)
- 1 cup of water
- 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- other flavourings depending on what type of flatbread you are making: for this one I used 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp garlic granules and a handful of chopped coriander leaves
You make it like this:
- Stir it all together until you’ve got rid of the lumps and it’s a single cream consistency
- Leave it to sit for an hour
- Pour batter into a large flat bottomed frying pan and fry on a medium-low heat for 5-6mins until golden and coloured
- Flip over and cook on the other side for 5-6mins
Back to the fish curry. As we were eating it there was some debate over what to call it and whether it might be a Goan fish curry or a Thai fish curry or an Indian fish curry but to be honest, as it was made up, I don’t think it needs a special name!
It’s leaning towards Thai in terms of flavours anyway so that’s the way we’ll go. It certainly hit all the spicy, sweet, sour and salty notes that a good Thai curry is supposed to, with a background of the fish sauce giving a lovely tanginess and all the sautéed veg bulking it out into a proper filling dish. You could have it just on it’s own with the flatbreads, or serve it with plain or coconut rice as we did.
You will need this:
- large cod fillet (or any white fish) mine was about 30cm long, cut into chunks
- 1 aubergine
- 6 large white mushrooms
- Half a broccoli head chopped smallish
- Handful green beans chopped into 3rds
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 2inch fresh ginger grated
- 2 red chillies chopped finely
- Tin of coconut milk
- Small tin of coconut cream
- 2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 lime leaves
- Stick of lemongrass
- Handful of coriander leaves
You make it like this:
- Before you start chop the fish into largish chunks and put in a large bowl
- Shake the tin of coconut milk to combine then add to the fish with the soy sauce, fish sauce and vinegar
- Snap the lemongrass so the fragrance is released and crack the lime leaves before submerging them in the coconut mixture too
- Leave ideally for at least 30mins or overnight in the fridge if your super-organised
- Start by stir frying the aubergine and mushrooms in a little veg oil until they’ve started to brown and soften, then remove from the pan and set aside
- Now stir fry the garlic, chillies & ginger in veg oil on a medium high heat for 1min
- Add the bowl of fish & coconut milk etc, and the broccoli and beans, turn down the heat and simmer for 8mins until the fish is cooked through
- Stir through the cooked aubergine and mushrooms for a minute till they come back up to temperature then take off the heat
- Fish out the lemongrass stalk and the lime leaves if you can find them and then squeeze over the fresh lime and garnish with coriander