I present to you my southern Indian inspired fish masala with quinoa. If you didn’t already know I’m quite a versatile young woman who is very enthusiastic about sampling dishes from around the world. Aside from my own cultural food (that being Caribbean) I do not have a favourite world cuisine. I’m enthralled by the idea to try foods from all corners of the globe.
The concept of this meal came from an Indian cooking programme that I recall watching a few months ago. I can remember it quite vividly, it was a saturday morning and I decided to extend my time in bed, which was quite unusual for me as I like to be up by 8am.
My definition of a lie in is staying in bed until 9 – 10, don’t laugh. Anyway, this Indian chef (I forgot his name) made this mouth watering fish masala dish and I simply couldn’t resist my rendition.
Masala is essentially an admixture of herbs and/or spice made in dry or paste form. South Asians are very passionate about using an abundance of herbs and spices to infuse their recipe and this fish masala certainly attests to that notion.
This recipe is quite subtle, not spicy at all, but the combination of coriander, fengueek seeds, cumin seeds, ginger and turmeric are a wonderful aromatic blend of spices. The desiccated coconut creates a hint of healthy fats with a crunch, imparting its exotic goodness. Green beans, spinach and quinoa enhance your daily requirement of protein, fibre, iron, b vitamins just to name a few.
Use a coffee grinder or a similar appliance to create the dry fish masala
This is what the semi final stage of the meal should look like. As you can see the quinoa and coconut are suspended in the water, before it’s left to simmer and evaporate.
- 1 lb of fish fillet (I used cod), cut into cubes
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa
- For the fish masala paste
- ½ tsp of fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tsp of fresh ginger, chopped
- ¼ tsp of ground turmeric
- 5-6 sprigs of fresh coriander or 2 tbsp of dried coriander
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup of green beans
- handful of spinach
- 2 tbsp of desiccated coconut
- 1-2 tsp of himalayan pink salt to taste
- 375ml of water
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil for sauteing
- First start by making the masala paste, in a grinder place the fenugreek seeds, ginger, cumin, turmeric and coriander, grind into a fine meal.
- Pour 1tbsp of coconut oil into a frying pan, under low heat and begin to saute the cubed fish whilst adding the masala paste to the pan, ensure to coat the fish. Cover pan and leave to simmer for 4-5 mins the fish should be a pale white/translucent colour.
- Remove from pan and set aside
- In a pan, under low heat add another tablespoon of coconut oil, add onions and bay leaf and begin to sauté until brown. Start to incorporate the quinoa, followed by the shredded coconut, green beans, and water. At this stage the ingredients will begin to suspend in the water.
- Lastly add the Himalayan pink salt, fish and spinach. Cover the pot and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes. At this point, the water will begin to evaporate with the fish masala thickened.
- Remove bay leaf and serve.