Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cookbook Countdown: Fish Mollee, Kachumber, and Kheer

Yes, another Indian meal from 30 Minute Indian. Tonight we had Fish Mollee (p61) with Lime Pickle, Coconut Rice (p100), Kachumber (p36), with Kheer (p116) for dessert. The Lime Pickle and Coconut Rice are old friends now. The others were new tonight.

  • The Fish Mollee was quite good and very easy to make. Cut your fish (it was cod tonight) into strips, salt the bits, sprinkle with lemon juice, and set aside. Sauté a finely chopped onion and some crushed garlic cloves. Then add turmeric, a diced green chili, and some coconut milk, and simmer a bit. Stir in the fish and a bit of white wine vinegar, turn the heat down, cover, and simmer for about ten minutes. (Shrimp can also be used used.)
    N.B.: There is an error in the ingredient list, which says only "4 fresh green chilies, deseeded and". The following line is missing. I finely chopped mine.
  • The Kachumber was also quite nice. It's a fresh vegetable salad, red onion, plum tomatoes, cucumber, and a green chili, tossed with lemon juice and cilantro. Simple and tasty. Tonight's cucumber was fresh from the potager, the first of the season. The green chili, the usually mild one that the French think is spicy, was a bit hotter than others I've had, but nothing challenging.
A thing that has consistently bothered me about this book is the lack of information, or rather clarification, on ingredients. He asks for a red (or green) chili, with no explanation for what kind of (or how hot a) chili is needed. A habanero? An jalapeno? A chile pequin? A cayenne? A bird chile? There is a bit of information in the ingredient glossary, but it still leave me doubting what I need. Since chilies are difficult to find in France, I have to use whatever I can find or have stashed in the freezer. Luckily the mildly piquant French green chili is in season, so I've been buying those. (I've no idea of its proper name; I suppose I should try to look this up.) I have a stash in the freezer of some habaneros, red jalapenos (just found those!), cayennes, and little red Indonesian chilies a friend brought for me from the Netherlands.

Then there was Kheer. I used basmati rice, rather than jasmine, since that's what I keep in-house and I didn't think to buy jasmine this week. These cook the same as far as I know, so I usually only keep the one and use them interchangeably. The result was tasty enough, but the recipe has a major problem. It calls for 2-1/2 cups milk. I used almost the whole liter, and the "pudding" was still as stiff as could be. 

The recipe has another unclear ingredient/instructions. It asks for 1 teaspoon of crushed cardamom seeds. I suppose he means for you to take the seeds out of the pods and crush them. That's what I did. But this is a 30-minute cookbook. Why not just use ground cardamom?

No silver leaf here, just a slog of cream to soften it up a bit.

Stop by Cookbook Countdown to see what other folks are making from their July cookbook. And if you've got unused books on your shelf, why don't you choose one and join in?

1 comment:

  1. I love kachumber and it makes a great side for any Indian meals. I like the idea of using prawns in place of the fish. I have never tried making Indian puddings before.
    I hate it when a cookbook's recipes has incomplete instructions and vague explanations. Sometimes guesswork is fine, but it can be very frustrating at times!