Green Masala Cod
North Atlantic Cod stocks have recently shown recovery and that is great news for those of us who love these meaty white fish. Although I am pleased about the recovery, I did feel concerned about the media hype around the issue, as over the last few years much good work has been done to promote really good alternatives. It seems to me that returning to a position where Cod becomes the first choice again is dangerous. I think of the news that stocks are up and perhaps quotas may go down as good but that the better habits of eating a wider variety of seafood should be maintained. So I shall proceed with caution and continue to enjoy cod on rare occasions, always from sustainable sources – of course.
Pondering on what to make for a Saturday supper a few weeks ago, I was thinking about the lovely fish curries of south India, and so put together a green masala paste.
Firstly, marinating the fish in this very fresh zingy green mix gives a lovely fragrance, and the marinade forms the base for a sauce to pour over so it’s very simple and quick. As you can see, I chose to steam the cod wrapped in banana leaves, you can simply steam it without the leaves.
A few years ago, after I had been in India and was enthusiastically recreating all sorts of things I tried there, my brother Karl-Heinz bought me a mini Idli mould which I’ve used to good effect ever since. Idli are small rice based bready things that are delicious for mopping up sauces or most particularly dipped in a thing called ‘gunpowder’ a sort of slightly dry spice mix that is quite delicious. So we had our lovely Cod with some idli, gunpowder a few home made onion bhaji and a little Indian salad. Memories of those warm and golden South Indian days…
I’ll concentrate on the cod for today but will post the other recipes in due course. Good substitutes fish wise would be Pollock, Coley or Haddock and the sauce also works well with whole chicken, smothered in the masala and roasted in the oven.
Ingredients – serves 2
2 Cod fillets from a sustainable source.
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, soaked in water for a couple of hours
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 inches of fresh ginger root, chopped
1 table spoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 table spoons fresh coriander leaves stalks and root, chopped.
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp Turmeric
¼ tsp ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
1 dessert spoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup coconut milk for the paste
1 cup coconut milk for the sauce
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.
- Place 2 table spoons of the paste into a dish and add the cod fillets, rolling them over to make sure they are fully coated.
- Cover the dish and set the fillets aside for an hour.
- Heat the water in a pan with a steamer over and one the water is bubbling, remove the excess marinade from the cod and place the fillets into the steamer – either wrapped in banana leaves or not.
- Allow the cod to steam for about 5/6 minutes until it is firm when you press it and it has lost it’s translucence.
- While the cod is cooking, place the rest of the green paste into a small sauce pan with a cup of coconut milk and cook gently on a low heat.
- Take the cod from the steamer, spoon over some of the green masala and serve with some boiled rice or bread and a lovely crisp salad, a a little extra sauce on the side.
Here is a sneak preview of the gunpowder…..!