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21 June 2015 @ 08:17 pm
Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: Week Thirty-Seven: Goa Fish Curry  
Goa vindaloo is one of the best curries I've had out of 50 Great Curries of India, and when softlykarou told me that this was a Goa fish curry, I knew exactly what to expect:

Sorry, obscure joke. What I actually knew to expect was enough heat to make the pita that softlykarou picked up from the Middle Eastern grocery store a good choice. I grabbed some yogurt as well and some water and settled down to a spicy repast, all the while glad that our aircon was fixed on Monday and I didn't need to try to combat the heat with sweating. All my love for heat came out in my love of food--give me a good subartic climate any day.

Even the olive oil is spicy.

Basically, this is what I think last week's curry should have tasted like. It has most of the same ingredients--tomatoes, onions, chilis, and so on--but where fish molee was flavorless other than the heat, this had a pleasantly understated taste. A little tomato, a little coconut, and a lot of back-of-the-mouth spice, which reminded me a lot of Thai red curry. I'm glad it was back-of-the-mouth spice, which is really the only kind of spice I like. I've never gotten on with nasal cavity spices, which is why I've never liked wasabi. Fortunately, this isn't 50 Bizarre Fusion Curries of India.

Though now I kind of want to see what those would be like. Hamburger curry? Curry pasta? Currywurst is already a thing. I can't really think of curry that people would seriously want to eat that I wouldn't try. Curry absolves a lot of sins. This week's curry absolves the sins of last week's curry, for example. As near as I can tell, they're the same other than that this week was good and last week was not.

Tomato murder in progress.

Words from the Chef
Once again, an excercise in accepting my food processor for what it is. As much as I would have loved a perfectly smooth sauce, this was as close as it was going to get, and it wasn't bad. It's a very spicy curry that had good flavor. It may have been that the cod wasn't as good a vehicle for it this time, the book says salmon can also be used so I may try this one again with a fish that has a little more flavor on it's own. It was good, it was spicy, but it didn't stand out a lot to me in terms of the curries I've had in this book.

It came by the heat honestly, at least.

As softlykarou mentions, this curry was good but not great. It's falling into the trap that a lot of curries in 50 Great Curries of India seem to, which is that throwing onions and tomatoes and a bit of coconut all together and varying the spices by small amounts is enough to make a new curry. I mean, sure, they do have some variations in flavor that I can tell from week to week, but it's usually not that much that I can write intelligently about it, which is part of why I go off on all the tangents that I do. I can't write a whole paragraph about this week's spice was a little more tomato-y than last week's and I'm not going to waste your time by trying.

There is one extra-recipe change that I thought made a difference for the good--I made two eggs for lunch today but decided that I only wanted one of them, so I set the other one aside and plopped it in the curry. I think the egg helped moderate the spice a bit and the yolk added some flavor of its own, because while I think cod is pretty tasty it's not a very strongly flavorful fish. 50 Great Curries of India actually doesn't specify which fish to use in Goa fish curry, and I wonder how it would have tasted using something with a stronger flavor on its own, like salmon or fatty tuna.

Now there's something I want to try--konju curry with fatty tuna. The most expensive curry we would have made yet and I bet it would be worth every bite.

I eat a lot, symmetrical version.

Comparing the ingredients lists between Goa fish curry and fish molee, I can't really find that many points of differentiation. Goa fish curry has a little tamarind and fish molee has some peppercorns and cloves, but I don't know what would have made the dramatic difference. Maybe the cloves were were using were some kind of anti-spice, sucking the flavor out of the food they were added to instead of enhancing it, like some kind of broad-spectrum gymnema sylvestre.

The people behind Soylent should sell those. That sounds like the right target audience.

Would I Eat It Again?: I would.
Do I Prefer It to the Usual Thai Curry?: No. It was similar, but did not surpass the memories.
What Would I Change?: I'd make it with a different fish, since the recipe just said "fish" and not anything more specific.
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: Man With No Name - Teleportation
Ashley <3ashiri_chan on June 22nd, 2015 01:53 am (UTC)
Somewhat off topic, but I bought a pound of cod at the grocery store yesterday because I'm making a fish stew/soup in my crockpot tomorrow. It totally made me think of you guys.
dorchadasdorchadas on June 22nd, 2015 11:24 pm (UTC)
I didn't expect to like cod as much as I did before I started this, but it goes really well with a lot of curries.