It’s probably no surprise if you’ve read much of my blog that I am a huge fan of Indian food. I love to cook it, and certainly love to eat it – generally, the spicier the better! I had a hankering for Indian yesterday, but get home from work relatively late, so was trying to think of a quick dish to satisfy my craving that I could serve before 10 pm! I decided to do a spice paste, spread it on fish filets, grill them in an indoor grill pan and serve with a cooling raita sauce. The halibut at my grocery’s fish counter was fresh last night and looked gorgeous, so that got the vote! I served the fish with coconut jasmine rice and some sauteed cauliflower in ghee and toasted indian spices. The entire menu took me about 45 minutes, start to finish. Here is the fish recipe for your enjoyment — I think you could use any meaty fish if halibut isn’t fresh or handy (salmon, snapper, etc.).
Ingredients for fish:
3 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper freshly ground
1 lb fresh halibut filet, skin removed
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Ingredients for raita:
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt (preferably Greek, which is much thicker and provides better consistency)
3 Tbsp water (only if using thick yogurt)
juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup cucumber, diced
2 scallions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 serrano chile, minced
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Make the spice paste first by blending the first 11 ingredients for the fish in a food processor or blender until finely grond and well mixed. The paste should be moist and spreadable, and not at all runny. Spread the paste over all sides of the fish (cut the filet in half if you like for easier handling). Allow the fish to absorb the paste flavors for about 15 minutes.
If you are serving a rice and/or veggie on the side, now would be a good time to get those started, so that they finish about the same time as when the fish is ready. Also while the fish is marinating, make the raita by simply combining all the ingredients listed for the sauce. You can vary the consistency by adding water or not as you wish. My personal preference is for a sauce that is about the consistency of ketchup (but of course is chunky due to the scallions and cucumber). Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding more salt and/or lime juice as desired.
Heat vegetable or olive oil in a grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the fish filets when the pan is hot, and tent the pan loosely with foil. Cook approximately 4 minutes per side until cooked through (which may vary depending on the thickness of the fish. To serve, place the fish on a plate and spoon some of the raita over the top, serving the remaining sauce on the side.