Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tandoori Halibut and Alu Dum (Smothered Potatoes)

The Bombay Cafe
Neela Paniz
Ten Speed Press (1998)
ISBN 0898159350
Indian Cookery
Dharamijt Singh
Penguin (1971)
It's two-for-the-price-of-on for this dinner.

Shopping today meant it was fish night, and to head the meal I picked up The Bombay Cafe, a book that's fairly new to me, although it's been around for a while. It came well-recommended, but somehow has never really caught my fancy.

For one of the sides, I choose a dish from Indian Cookery, which is another quite new-to-me, if secondhand, book, one that I've not used before. It's rather old-fashioned, but probably represents Indian food as prepared in the UK before it became trendy elsewhere.

There was no halibut to be found at the shop, so I used a chunk of cod, cut into two pieces, for the fish. The recipe is simple as can be. The fish is first marinated in a blended mixture of yogurt, fresh ginger, garam masala, ground coriander, cayenne, turmeric, and vegetable oil. (It didn't seem to me that the oil added anything to the flavor or process, so I think I'll leave that out next time.) After 20 minutes or so marinating, the fish is grilled or broiled. That's all there is to it.

The potatoes were prepared in what was to me a new way of doing Indian-style potatoes. They are first boiled until about three-quarters done, then pricked with a fork and rubbed with a paste made of yogurt, turmeric, garam masala, and salt. Bay leaves are cooked in butter (I used ghee), dried chilies added, then a pinch of sugar. Finally the potatoes are stirred in along with minced parsley (I used cilantro, expecting that the parlsley was a 70s substitute for the real thing). The pan is covered, then put in a moderate oven for 25 minutes to finish cooking the potatoes. The yogurt mixture makes a kind of dry crust on the potatoes.

I served these with Spiced Green Beans, a recipe I've made before from Indian Light Cookery (which is a well-used cookbook, so doesn't count here).

We found the whole meal delicious. All bits will likely be made again, and maybe as they're written: as I was clearing up after the meal, I found that I'd gotten out my jar of amchoor, rather than garam masala, so the flavors of the fish and potatoes were not quite as the authors intended—still good, though!

This post is linked to this week's Cookbook Sundays.

1 comment:

  1. I'm loving this Kaye - I would have totally loved that meal, and would probably have asked for seconds.

    I'm definitely on the look out for that Bombay Cafe book now - not that I need any more cookbooks!

    Sue xo