Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Cod curry & Fish Fight

Beginning of this year there was a series on Channel 4 called the Big Fish Fight. Channel 4's top chefs: Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver, Arthur Potts Dawson joined the forces in the Big Fish Fight championing sustainable seafood and celebrating lesser known delicacies of the deep.

Hugh, the actual founder of this campaign (supported by many people and organisations such as Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund) spent quite a lot time travelling around the UK and meeting fishermen marine conservationists, politicians, supermarkets bosses, and of course fish-eating members of the public and it really changed the way he thinks about fish now.

This campaign changed my way of thinking about fish. I simply did not realise that around 40-60% of the fish caught by fishermen in the North Sea are unnecessarily thrown back into the ocean dead. Many different fish live together, fishermen cannot control the species that they catch and all those dead fish dramatically change the natural balance in the sea. Many of these are very tasty, but unfortunately unfashionable. Those chefs shown how to cook delicious fish dishes using less popular types of fish. This is how we, consumers can help to prevent their discard - by rediscovering our taste for them and diversifying our fish eating habits.

Today I will show you fish curry using yes! quite popular cod, however this campaign made me pay more attention to the fish that I buy. I read the labels carefully or ask fishmonger if fish I buy comes from sustainable source. Trying to choose fish from a certified sustainable fishery is another way to support Fish Fight - so check out label for a certificate of the Marine Stewardship Council. This guarantees that the fish you are eating was caught or farmed to a high standard.

This recipe was improvised by me based upon a knowledge about other curries that I cooked in the past. Most of my Indian recipes come from "The food of India. A journey for food lovers". I have made it in the past with salmon and monkfish, however any meaty fish should be fine. I will definitely try it with less popular fish recommended on Hugh's website.

Serves 2-3

about 400-500g cod, fillet, skin off, cut into large chunks
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
tsp ground coriander
tsp ground cumin
tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
piece of fresh ginger (about 3cm), peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
about 200ml chopped tinned tomatoes
about 400ml coconut milk

To serve:

rice (basmati or jasmine)
fresh chopped coriander or spring onion
quartered lime (optional)

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft, but not browned. Add all the spices, mix well and fry another minute. Next add chilli, ginger and garlic and fry for another minute or so, stirring.

Next add tomatoes and coconut milk to the pan, stir well and bring it to boil. Turn heat down to simmer, add fish chunks sprinkled with little salt, cover and simmer for about 7 minutes. Stir gently half way through.

Serve with rice sprinkled with chopped spring onion (or coriander) and lime wedges.

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