A few weeks ago, Seattle got a shipment of Copper River Salmon, it made the news. The Pacific North-West makes a huge fuss over this firm red fleshed fish. So much so that when I saw a piece of salmon, frozen in the deep freeze I contemplated getting rid of it. What was I doing not eating the freshest tastiest salmon from the markets? Especially the markets that were teasing me with loud, in your face signs telling me that they had “Copper River Salmon”. Instead I decided to make a curry with this salmon, something a little different!
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 small white onion finely chopped
- 2 green chillies sliced (optional)
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- curry leaves
- 2 tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. unroasted curry powder
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 200g salmon cut into 2 cm cubes
- 1/2 lime juiced
In a small saucepan, add the oil and wait until heated. To the oil add the onion, green chillies, garlic and curry leaves. Saute until the onions and garlic are soft and fragrant.
To this fragrant mixture add the turmeric, curry powder and tomatoes. Keep cooking until the tomatoes begin to break down.
At this point add the coconut milk, stir and bring the whole mixture to boil.
When the curry is boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and add the cubed salmon. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the salmon is just cooked (firm to the touch) and finish with the lime juice.
Serve immediately over lots of soft, fluffy white rice.
Okra is a very divisive vegetable. I feel you either love the slimy texture or you don’t. I’m a fan. Always have been. So when I saw some fresh, green okra at our local Saturday farmer’s market I grabbed a handful straight away.
It was only when I got home that I thought about Mr Firehouse. You see, he is a hater of all things slimy. So the okra sat unloved, in my fridge, for nearly a week before I decided to tackle it.
During last years trip to Sri Lanka we had stayed at a new beach side resort. One of my favourite things about Asian hotels are the buffets! Love! This one was no different. They served all kinds of impressive Western fare; cold cuts and salads in tiny shot glasses. However, my eyes and plate never strayed far from the big traditional earthenware pots that had real, homestyle, Sri Lankan food. Breadfruit curry glistening with black curry powder, Kalu Pork curry with tender, spicy pork and the okra curry teeming with dried chillis. I served myself all of the above and was surprised to find that the okra wasn’t its usual slimy self. It tasted the same and had the soft almost gelatinous texture, but the sliminess that offends most people was strangely absent. On closer inspection and a quick chat to the chefs the secret was revealed, the okra was deep fried prior to cooking!
This is exactly what I did to tackle my stash of okra. The extra step made this dish much more Mr Firehouse friendly and I must say, I enjoyed the change too! If you’re not fussed about the okra’s slimy tendencies, just skip the deep frying part.
- 200-250 g okra (about 1/2 a pound) sliced on an angle
- oil for deep frying
- 1/2 red onion sliced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 3-4 dried red chillis
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp. maldive fish flakes
- 1/2tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. vegetable curry powder
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
In a small frypan heat the oil for deep frying and deep fry the okra in batches until they have a little colour. Drain well
In a medium saucepan or pot place a little oil and add the onion and garlic. Fry until the onions and garlic and soft and aromatic.
To the same pot add all of the dried spices and fry for 2-3 minutes until the spices are lightly toasted.
Finally add the fried okra and mix thoroughly coating all the okra in the lovely toasted spices.
Once the okra is well coated add the coconut cream and a little water to cover the okra.
Let the curry simmer for 5 minutes until it thickens. Add salt to taste and serve warm with plenty of fluffy white rice.
Roti and luni miris, a class combination
Sri Lankan food can often be time consuming and labour intensive. It’s well worth the effort but sometimes it’s difficult to find the time on a busy weeknight. Pol Roti is an exception. Easy, quick and tasty, it’s something we often eat during the week when the need for curry hits us and rice just won’t cut it.
It took us a while to make Roti here in Seattle. Every single bag of coconut we found was “sweetened”. We finally happened upon it at the largely organic market WHOLE FOODS, and we’ve never looked back. Thank goodness, can you imagine life without pol sambol, roti or Anzac Biccies? Disaster!
Roti is delicious by itself and especially with lunu miris (recipe below). It’s also goes perfectly with our chicken curry and a generous smear of butter!
Serves 2-3 (Makes 8 medium sized Rotis)
- 2 cups of plain flour
- I cup dessicated coconut
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- Enough luke warm water to make a dough
In a bowl place all the dry ingredients and the oil. Mix until the coconut is evenly distributed.
Now slowly add enough warm water to make a dough that comes to together in a ball. I used about 1 cup.
Here you have 2 options;
Option 1: you can flour your bench and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. You can then cut the dough using a round cutter to get uniform circles. Then repeat until all the dough is used up.
I decided to go the other way
Option 2: Divide the large ball of dough into 8 small balls. Now press the dough flat with the tips of your fingers until the roti is about 1/2 cm thick.
Place a frying pan or crepe pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Place the roti on there one or two at a time. I like the roti to get some nice dark brown patches and keep turning them until I have some colour on both sides.
Cook all the roti and serve warm with Lunu miris (quite literally onion and chilli sambol).
Uncooked rotis freeze really well so if you have extra freeze them with greaseproof paper between the rotis and then sealed in a ziploc bag. You can then cook them straight from frozen.
- 1/2 a small red onion chopped
- 3/4 tbsp. chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp. maldive fish flakes
- 1 small clove of garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp lemon juice
In the bowl of a food processor place your onion, chilli flakes, maldive fish flakes, garlic and pepper. Now whizz it up until the onion is finely chopped and all the ingredients are well mixed. Place the contents in bowl and add the salt and lemon juice to taste. Mix and serve with your warm roti!
Note: If you don’t have a food processor use a mortar and pestle and grind the ingredients together and add the salt and lemon juice last.