First things first...
Yes, ok, so I haven't been around much this last week or so: I'm woefully slow in my posting, and my google reader ridicules me everytime I turn the computer on, groaning under the weight of unread posts... I have been in the kitchen (a lot!!) but have been sorely limited in non-work pc time.
So apologies if I haven't been by as much as usual - I promise I'll sort it out soon!
I have still been managing to cook - and this post is my entry for this month's Think Spice... this month being hosted by... me!
I chose fenugreek as the spice, either in seed form or as dried leaves. I ended up using both forms in this dish - although the seeds were my main use.
Unusually for me, I have kept the heat in this dish to a minimum - I didn't want to overpower the subtle flavours in the fish. And I was really pleased with the result. It was spicy - but in a flavourful way rather than hot. The saag aloo may not be authentic, but its main ingredients are spinach an potato - so I figured it deserved the name!
Serves 2 - with leftovers!
For the Fish and Broth...
- 1.5 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 350ml water
- 100ml milk
- 2 fillets firm white fish - I used pollock
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 large pinch dried fenugreek leaves
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1.5 tsp ground coriander
- 0.5 tsp turmeric
- 0.5 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 bunch spinach, washed, destalked and roughly chopped
- 4 plum tomatoes, diced (large)
- 4 medium potatoes, diced (large)
- 2 tbsp ghee
Prepare the Broth...
In a dry pan, toast the fenugreek seeds for 3/4 minutes until golden brown. Transfer them to a mortar and pestle and give them a bit of a bash. Warning - these little legumes are really hard - so just try to break them up a bit, don't worry about grinding them to powder.
Put the bashed fenugreek and the fennel seeds in a pan, then pour over the water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
Prepare the Saag Aloo...
Heat the ghee over a low to medium heat and add the mustard seeds. When the start to pop add the onions and dried fenugreek leaves. Fry gently until translucent, don't allow to brown.
Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute or so before adding the cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli.
Add the diced potato to the mix, and top up with cold water to about half way up the potato. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or so, stirring a couple of times through out.
Prepare the fish while the potatoes are cooking...
Cook the Fish...
Once the broth is cool, strain through a fine sieve and discard the seeds. Add the milk, salt and turmeric. Lay the fish fillets in the broth - they should be totally submerged - otherwise top up with water.
Gently bring the broth to the boil. As soon as it reaches the boil, cover and turn off the heat. Leave in the broth for 5-10 minutes - until fish is cooked through (this will depend on how thick the fish is).
Finish the Saag Aloo...
Add the tomatoes and chopped spinach to the potato mix and stir well. Cover the pan, and cook for another 5/10 minutes - until the potatoes are cooked through, the spinach is completely wilted and the tomatoes are softened.
Depending on how much water is released by the tomatoes and spinach you may want to remove the lid for the last few minutes of cooking to let the sauce thicken.