Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fish Curry With Hyacinth Beans & Potatoes

Fish curry with hyacinth beans & potatoes
Fish Curry With Hyacinth Beans & Potatoes
Towards the end of the year, our landscape is filled with the small and pretty blooms of hyacinth beans. They come in purple or white depending on the variety. There are so many kinds and sizes. The tender ones can be fried up and served as an accompaniment to main dishes. They are mostly mixed with other vegetables and goes particularly well with potatoes. But one way of having them in our house is by adding them to our simple fish curry. With the season almost over, it's now the turn of the seeds to be made into dal or cooked with dried or fresh fish. But as with most vegetables of the season, the easiest (or simplest) way of having them is by adding them to a curry. And fish and beans in a curry is a wonderful combination. 

The blooms attract a lot of pollinators. It's a joy to see the bees and the butterflies coming to feed on the flowers. I'm growing two varieties (seen in the collage). The purplish beans in the last picture were gifted by a relative of ours. And talking about garden gifts we are blessed to have so many of them coming our way in all seasons.
Ingredients:
This will serve 3-4. 
15-20 beans
2 potatoes 
4 pieces fried fish (here I used carp but other varieties can be used also)
2 onions, grated
2 cloves of garlic, ground
1 small piece of ginger, peeled and ground to a paste
2 tomatoes, eyes removed and sliced
1 tsp chilli powder
A quarter tsp turmeric powder
1 level tbs coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
A few fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste
3 tbs mustard oil
A bunch of chopped coriander for the garnish
Both the cumin and coriander seeds were toasted and ground. 

Method:
Top, tail, and string the beans. The beans I used were about the length of peas so I didn't cut them into halves.
Peel the potatoes and slice them. For fish curry we usually cut them into the same size as for chips.
Heat the oil in a pan. When it comes to smoking point, throw in the fenugreek seeds but be careful that they do not burn. 
Then add the onions and let them sweat a bit till they turn paler in colour.
Add the ginger and garlic pastes. Add the rest of the spices. Fry for a couple of minutes and add the potatoes.
Cook till the potatoes are nearly half done, then add the beans.
Add the sliced tomatoes and season with salt.
Continue to cook till the beans wilt and the seeds are almost done. 
Pour a couple of cups of hot water and let it come to a boil. The amount of water here will depend on the kind of gravy you want. Check the seasoning and make adjustments, if required.
Reduce the flame and add the fried fish pieces. Cook for another 4-5 minutes till the fish is tender and the beans are fully cooked. Transfer the curry to a serving dish and garnish with the chopped herbs.

Fenugreek seeds added to the hot oil makes the curry aromatic. The fried fish used in curry is usually rubbed with a touch of turmeric powder and salt.The fish pieces are fried for a few minutes till nearly done. The rest of the cooking is done after the pieces are added to the simmering curry. 
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