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Goa is a small state on the central-west coast of India, and fish curry is a staple dish in its characteristically tropical cuisine. Fresh coconut freezes beautifully, so look for bags of frozen coconut (a staple in Indian cooking) in the freezer section at your local market. Accompany this dish with basmati rice and steamed vegetables.
1 1/2 cups freshly grated coconut (defrosted if using frozen)
1 to 2 serrano chiles (use the larger amount for more heat), stems removed
5 cloves garlic
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped and tightly packed
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
8 to 10 fresh curry leaves
1 small onion (1/2 cup), thinly sliced
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
4 (6-ounce) portions wild sockeye salmon
Place the coconut, chiles, garlic, cilantro, cayenne, and coriander in a food processor and puree with as much water as needed, up to 1/2 cup, to make a smooth paste.
Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the mustard seeds and cover immediately, as they will splatter. After about 30 seconds, when the sizzling subsides, add the curry leaves and the sliced onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the coconut-herb paste and sauté on high heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, until all the moisture evaporates, leaving a dry “masala” in the pan.
Add the coconut milk and 1 cup hot water. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the salt. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Add the tamarind and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. The curry can be prepared a day ahead to this point. Refrigerate until ready to proceed.
When ready to serve, heat the curry mixture over medium heat and add the salmon. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until there is just some pink in the center. Serve immediately.
A veteran restaurant chef, recipe developer and editor, private chef and menu consultant, Myra Kornfeld believes that good food, enjoyed in good company, with great conversation is among the greatest of life's pleasures.
Myra is the acclaimed author of several great cookbooks, including these titles available at MyraKornfeld.com:
The Healthy Hedonist: More than 200 Delectable Flexitarian Recipes
The Healthy Hedonist Holidays
The Voluptuous Vegan: More than 200 Sinfully Delicious Recipes.
Myra Kornfeld is also the Head Chef & Content Manager of MyFoodMyHealth.com, an instructor at The Natural Gourmet School of Health and Culinary Arts, the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, and the graduate program in Nutrition and Integrative Health at the Tai Sophia Institute.