Currypalooza: 1) A monthly celebration of Indian home cooking. 2) A virtual gathering of food bloggers, who prepare the same subcontinental recipe and blog about it.
I’m tickled pink to be part of this month’s Currypalooza, even if my post is a week late. Croque Camille selected the recipe which comes from Mallika Basu’s Miss Masala, one of my favorite cookbook’s ever. (I am not exaggerating. This book has changed my life.) (!!!!)
This month’s dish is called patra ni macchi, or marinated cod steamed in banana-leaf parcels. It’s a lovely and simple: a piece of fish rubbed with a spicy coconut herb paste, wrapped in a banana leaf, and steamed. And don’t worry if you’ve totally spaced out and you forget to add the coconut to the herb paste. It’s easy enough to scrape it all off and rectify your error. Guess how I know?
See? It’s much better with the coconut, which cuts the sharp bite from the finger chilies. And if your spaciness continues and you realize at the very last minute that you lack a key piece of equipment — that is, a steamer — well, you can always use — Mallika, if you’re reading this, avert your eyes — the microwave. Three minutes at 650 Watts worked quite beautifully.
Normally, I would now share a photo of the finished product, but something happened. Do you care to guess?
A) The lighting in my kitchen sucks.
B) Chopped herbs turn khaki green, akin to baby poo, when cooked.
C) I was so overwhelmed by the fish — sweet, tart, spicy, salty and coconuty, with a delightful herbal punch — that I forgot.
D) All of the above.
Instead, I leave you with the cover of Mallika’s book, Miss Masala. You could test out some of Mallika’s recipes from her top-notch blog. Or, you could try making your own banana-leaf parcels of cod — the recipe is posted over at Croque Camille. But I really suggest — in fact, I urge you — to go buy this book right now. I’m not just saying this because Mallika is a friend (though she is), or because authors need to stick together (though we do). I’m saying this because I love this book so much, I feel compelled to share it. And, really, isn’t that what blogging is all about?
Read this month’s other Currypalooza posts: