We originally used orange roughy in this recipe, but when we realized it is considered an endangered fish, we switched to halibut. If you can’t find halibut, substitute a similar, firm white fish that is readily, and preferably, locally available. The coconut curry also tastes great with prawns, grilled chicken, or vegetables.
6 fillets Pacific halibut, about 7 oz (200 g) each
1/2 cup (125 mL) canola oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
2 tsp (10 mL) ground black mustard seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) dried green fenugreek leaves (known as “kasuri methi”)
1 cup (250 mL) ground bread crumbs
1/2 cup (125 mL) canola oil for searing
Mix the 1/2 cup (125 mL) canola oil, cayenne, salt, black mustard seeds, and fenugreek leaves in a large mixing bowl. Gently add the fillets and mix well. Make sure the halibut is well covered in the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Spread bread crumbs on a flat plate. Dip each fillet in bread crumbs, making sure both sides of each piece are completely coated. Arrange coated fillets on a baking tray.
Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of the canola oil in a small, nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Sear a breaded fillet on one side for 2 to 3 minutes. The breadcrumbs will appear a darkish brown. Gently turn the fillet over and sear for another 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the fillet over again, and cook the first side for 3 to 4 more minutes (depending on how thick the fillet is). Turn the fillet over once more and cook the second side for 3 to 4 minutes.
Repeat with each remaining fillet, adding up to 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of oil per fillet. Place cooked fillets on a large plate or directly in the bowls you will serve them in. (You don’t want to place the cooked fillets on paper towels, as the breadcrumbs will stick to the towels.)
Pour the hot coconut curry (see recipe below) over each fillet and serve with Pearl Barley Pilaf or plain rice.
1/2 cup (125 mL) canola oil
20 to 25 curry leaves
3 Tbsp (45 mL) garlic, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) onion, puree
4 medium tomatoes, chopped finely
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground coriander
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground cumin powder
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp (20 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cayenne pepper 6 whole cloves
3 cups (750 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) stirred coconut milk
Heat oil on medium heat in a medium pot for 1 minute. Add the curry leaves and let them sizzle for about 45 seconds (or until they begin to shrivel). Keep your face at a distance, as water from within the leaves can sometimes splatter. Add the garlic and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is light brown. Add the puree onions and continue to saute until they are brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne, and cloves. Continue cooking for 8 minutes, or until the water from the tomatoes has evaporated and the oil is glistening. Stir in the water and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
If you wish, take out the cloves and curry leaves before serving.
source: "Vij's", alive #303, January 2008
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