This curry has quite a light sauce ('jhol'), more akin to a stock than a thick curry sauce. I've chosen sea bream, but you can opt for any firm, white-fleshed fish. Serve with rice.
Wash the fish and rub in some salt and half the turmeric. Set aside for about 5 - 10 minutes. At the same time, salt the cauliflower florets and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan until it is smoking. Take it off the heat for 10 seconds to cool down, then add the fish. It will splutter, so have a lid close by. Fry until golden on both sides, about 5 - 6 minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon, reserving the oil.
Blend together the onion, ginger, garlic, cumin and mustard seeds until smooth, adding a little water if necessary to help the blades turn. The seeds don’t have to be completely fine, but do try and get it pretty smooth.
Heat up 3 tbsp of the mustard oil from the frying pan in a medium-large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the panch phoran and cook for 20 sizzling seconds or until the seeds have darkened. Now add the bay leaves and follow a beat later with the onion paste, remaining ground spices, chillies and some salt and cook until it releases oil back into the pan, 10 - 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat up the remaining oil in the frying pan over a low heat and add the cauliflower. Cook gently, turning often, until just softening, 5 - 7 minutes. Set aside.
Add the water to the masala. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 5 - 6 minutes. Add the fish and return to a simmer. After a minute add the cauliflower, cover and again return to a simmer. Cook for another 3 minutes or until everything is cooked through.
Sprinkle over the coriander, taste and adjust the seasoning and serve hot with rice.
Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)
Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
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This is an edited extract from 'I Love India' by Anjum Anand, published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $39.99 and available in stores nationally.
Photographer: ©Martin Poole
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