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10 May 2015 @ 08:31 pm
Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: Week Thirty-Two: Jheenga Methi  
This week's review is going to be pretty short. And while some of that is because I just got finished writing two-and-a-half thousand words about Dark Souls, it's most just the much more mundane reason that there really isn't that much to write about. This is more like curried fish than fish curry, and no, don't ask me to explain the difference between those two because I suspect it's a line that moves a lot. Here, the main reason I'm making the distinction is that there isn't even the minimal extras that most of the curries in the book have. There's no gravy, no other ingredients, and really nothing other than the fish and some spices. softlykarou didn't even take an ingredients picture this week because it would have just been the spice rack and a big slab of cod, which isn't super exciting.

This is another curry where we substituted cod for shrimp. 50 Great Curries of India actually says that fish cooked with fenugreek leaves is a common recipe and the shrimp with fenugreek version is something the author saw in a London restaurant, and they got it from a cook in Hyderabad. So in a manner of speaking, we're actually returning to the true essence of the recipe.  photo www.MessenTools.com-Pokemon-pok022.gif

Okay, there were onions too.

Words from the Chef
I don't have a whole lot to say about this curry. It was so easy there was barely any actual cooking involved, which was nice I suppose. I love the cod in the curry still, apparently fish curries really are something I love. I honestly can't think of anything to say for this curry because it was basically "cut scallions, add fish, stir-fry".

Marinating fish. I keep thinking it looks like potatoes...

I think softlykarou calling it stirfry makes the most sense. I hate to be That Guy On The Internet, but as the Wikipedia article on curries mentions, "Some limit the use of the term curry to dishes prepared in a sauce, but curries may be 'wet' or 'dry,' " and I'm one of those people, as I'm sure you've gotten the impression. I'm usually fine with dry curries if they're a bit more substantial, but this is literally fish, onions, and spices. It took the problem I have with a lot of the recipes in 50 Great Curries of India and their lack of vegetables to new heights.

Maybe if this had been put over some greens and flavored rice, I would have liked it better. Though that's being more critical than the fish deserves, because it was actually quite good. The cod was flaky and the spices were strong enough to make me cough a bit while not obliterating all the taste in a blast of HOT. It's just that I was hoping for curry, not fish with spices, you know?

Fish, onions, and spices, hence all the side dishes.

This being so easy to make means we can put it on the menu for non-curry nights, though. Maybe as an actual stirfry, where we add the fish and the spices but throw in some spinach and mushrooms an maybe toasted almonds, serve it over fragrant rice, and it could be an amazing meal. The book just suggests to serve it with rice and lentils, but I have to invoke my old criticism of the lack of vegetables and call shenanigans on that. Even in the picture has it next to a bowl of limes. On the other hand, the finished version actually looks like the picture, so it has that going for it.

I guess the summary is that I feel like we were supposed to eat a fragment of something rather than a whole thing, so I'm glad we filled out the extras with side dishes. This is a good recipe, but it's not a good curry.

Would I Eat It Again?: Sure. It was pretty good as a main dish, but not as a meal itself.
Do I Prefer It to the Usual Thai Curry?: No. It's not curry.
What Would I Change?: Make it a smaller part of a larger meal.
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