Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Whiting Fish Curry with Easy Pilau Rice and Indian Spiced Onions

In this latest recipe for sustainable fish and seafood, I decided to make something a little bit different. Not many people think of fish when they think of curry but fish curry is extremely popular in parts of India - such as Goa - so I decided to come up with a very simple recipe of this type. Please remember also the resources in the right hand column of this blog for sustainable fish recipes, including the site linked to below which contains recipes for a number of different sustainable species and was updated with a new recipe earlier today. All will aid supporters of the campaign for eating more sustainable fish to keep their fish recipes varied and interesting.

Delicious Recipes for Sustainable Fish and Seafood

I have used whiting in this particular recipe for two people, which is actually a member of the cod family and is considered by many to be every bit as tasty as its seriously endangered cousin. The first step, however, should be to prepare the spiced onions, as they will ideally require a couple of hours in the refrigerator for the flavours to infuse.

Spiced Onion Ingredients

1 large white onion
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
6 fresh mint leaves
Salt to taste


The onion should be peeled and either diced or sliced, depending upon preference. It should be added to a glass bowl. The mint leaves should be roughly chopped and added to the onion along with the remainder of the ingredients. Stir carefully and very well. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. Note that this could be done the night before where time is going to be an issue.

Fish Curry and Rice Ingredients

2 large whiting fillets
1 pint jar of curry sauce (strength as desired)
6oz basmati rice
1 and 1/2 pints of water
1 2" cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves


The spices should be placed in a large pot and the water and a little salt added. Put the pot on to a high heat for the water to reach a boil. While the water is heating, rinse the rice thoroughly in a sieve under running cold water. Add the rice to the boiling water and stir well, once only.

When the rice is added to the water, add the curry sauce to a deep frying pan and put on to the heat to reach a simmer. When it is simmering, add the whiting fillets and fry for four minutes, before turning them very carefully with a fish turner and cooking for a further four minutes.

The rice is ready after ten minutes. Drain it through a sieve and use a teaspoon to remove the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and be sure particularly to remove all the cloves. Stray cloves can lead to urgent dental assistance being required...

The rice can simply be spread on the plate as a bed upon which to serve the curried whiting. I have instead, however, lined a small bowl with clingfilm, packed in the rice and upended it on the serving plate. The bowl should then lift away and the clingfilm peeled free. The whiting can then carefully be plated and some of the curry sauce spooned on top.

The spiced onions should be removed from the refrigerator and a generous spoonful added to each plate.

You may also wish to consider serving this dish with some incredibly simple, homemade chapatis. You can find my simple recipe instructions for chapatis by clicking here.

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