Fish Curry – Red curry with Tilapia

 

Fish curry

This dish is for all those who love seafood. For those who don’t like fish in particular, may also like tilapia as it is very mild in flavor. A true Mumbaiite can’t live without fish…they are literally like fish out of water LOL. Its quite a treat to enjoy a variety of fish in Mumbai, whether it is pan fried, steamed or served in a curry. Fish can be pan fried plain or covered in a spiced batter or stuffed with some amazing chutneys & then pan fried. There are so many mouth-watering curries prepared in different styles depending on the region & its specialty spice combinations. Of all the curries, the ones containing coconut taste the best. I am not particularly fond of fresh or desiccated coconut as a garnish but when it is ground with other spices or used in coconut milk form it takes the dish to a whole new level. It is celebrated even in small amounts! 🙂 Coconut is commonly used in coastal cuisines because of the easy availability of coconuts. Imagine yourself dining on a beach under a thatched roof- watching the sunset while enjoying a variety of fish dishes in the gentle, salty breeze!!! A perfect seafood dinner shall I say? 😉

I love coconut in the form of coconut milk, which is also used in the Thai cuisine. But use coconut in small amounts as it is high Saturated fats.

Fish is also steamed in banana leaf and served with chutneys. Baking fish is more of a western style of cooking. I don’t enjoy deep fried fish but it is quite common in India. I feel that most of the time the flavor of the fish is lost or it becomes tough & dry. I usually satisfy my fish cravings whenever I am back home & request my mom to make her specialties. However, to vet my appetite I have learned to cook tilapia & cod in Indian or Thai style or salmon in a western style. Pan frying or making curries or stews are some simple & quick ways to cook fish.

In the US, if you are concerned about Mercury content of fish, here are some ways that you can learn to make safe choices:

  1. National Resources Defense Council has compiled a guide based on data from FDA & EPA : click here.
  2. American Heart Association lists recommendations, benefits vs risks of consuming fish : click here.
  3. Monterey Bay Aquarium advises on what farmed or fished varieties of fish have less impact on the environment: Seafood Watch Enter the name of the fish and you will see the recommendations.

Fish is a very good source of protein, low in fat, and some varieties contain omega 3 fatty acids which are good for your heart. Even though I have used coconut milk in this recipe, it is a reduced fat version and is used in small amount for 6 servings. 

Per serving: 117 cals | 11 g protein | 1 g fiber | 7 g total fat | 1.75 g saturated fat

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Easy Lentils & Brown Rice Pulao

This recipe is my entry to the Canadian Lentil Recipe Revelation Challenge in the main dish category. You can show your support by liking my post &/ or my Pinterest post on this board. It might take a day to get posted on their board. Since I have only recently started blogging, I don’t have a lot of followers like other contestants who have been blogging for a long time. Popularity is one of the criteria for judging 😛 besides taste, appeal, simplicity & creativity. Deadline is Feb 23rd!!!!

I hope this recipe endears to people who love lentils and would be willing to give this recipe a shot.

Per serving: 243 cals | 9 g protein | 8 g fiber | 8 g total fat | 3 mg Iron | 55 mg Vitamin C | 400 mg Potassium

Lentils pulao

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Simple Chana Masala (Black chickpeas curry)

Chana masala recipe can be a bit elaborate with a bunch of spices roasted and ground together with or without coconut. However, here is a simplified and different style of chana masala. If you are fond of chickpeas, you would want to try this dish. Again one of my favorite dishes that my mom makes. Almost all households in India have their own traditional ground spice mix that is used in daily cooking. It varies from region to region, community to community and even within communities. Families proudly share their spice mixes with one another. You do get quite a few commercial versions of the more popular spice mixes. Similarly, my mom uses our family ground spice mix. However, I have come up with a desirable combination of red chili powder and garam masala that could replicate the taste. While developing all these recipes I unlearned the use of commercial spice mixes (except for garam masala) 🙂 which I use in some dishes. I trained myself to work with basic ingredients- that way its easy to replicate the recipe for anyone anywhere as long as they can find the basic ingredients. Garam masala is also a spice mix that is sort of omnipresent. It usually contains black peppercorn, cinnamon, clove, black cardamom, bay leaf along with other spices. Although, the proportion of spices used varies from brand to brand and region to region, any garam masala does give a nice flavor and adds some heat to the dish. In this recipe and others I have posted, you can adjust the level of heat by moderating the garam masala for your preference. Same goes for the red chili powder, depending on the type of chili powder you are using.

Serve the chana masala with whole wheat roti, or phulka or even rice & a fresh salad. Since chana are high in fiber, this is your chance to eat rice without too much guilt! 🙂 Keep in mind not to eat too much of the rice and small amounts of this dish. Popularly, chana masala is served with bhaturas (delicious, fried bread – not recommended unless you are an active, healthy adult or child) 😉

Nutri-Educate: Black chickpeas, like other legumes, are valued for their high fiber, good amount of protein, potassium, B-complex vitamins especially for vegetarians & more so for vegans. They also contain omega-3 fatty acid content as well. Do not use soda for cooking pulses – though it reduces cooking time, it also destroys the B-complex vitamins. Similarly, do not discard the water used for soaking or cooking the legumes. It contains some of the water-soluble nutrients, which will be lost if the water is discarded.

Recommended for weight loss, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, constipation.

Per serving: 162 cals | 6 proteins | 6 fiber | 6 g total fat | 0.4 g omega-3 fatty acid  

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