The culinary challenge that comes with being on any specific diet is figuring out delicious menus while adhering to rules and limitations. For me, I try to focus my attention on making better use of ingredients I should eat plenty, rather than bemoaning about all the food I should avoid. Over the weekend, I filled my shopping basket with sweet potatoes, gingerroot, red peppers, leafy greens, avocados, frozen pearl onions, canned sardines, kippered kippers, pickled herrings, and of course fresh fish. Why the variety of preserved oily fish? Let’s face it, when I get home late, all I want is a quick lazy dinner. Eating a can of sardines in olive oil is quite possibly the easiest solution while still getting a super dose of omega-3 fatty acid. Besides, I happen to really like canned fish, especially hot smoked ones.
Weekend is also a great time to experiment. I came up with a dish heavily loaded with anti-inflammatory ingredients. My Sweet Potato Fish Curry is mildly spicy but decidedly healthy. The flavour is built upon cumin seeds, fennel seeds, gingerroot, garlic, turmeric, garam masala, and tomato puree. Rather than relying on any dairy, a bit of chickpea flour and sweet potato lend body to the sauce. You can make it with any firm flesh fish. I used plaice but salmon would be an even better choice.
I served the curry with kale salad and quinoa. I obviously avoided the quinoa but the boys enjoyed it with the saucy main course. Looks like this anti-inflammatory powerhouse will be on regular rotation at my home for the next little while.
Sweet Potato Fish Curry
serves 3 generously
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- neutral oil for the pan
- 2 tablespoons minced gingerroot
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 small green chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup tomato puree (tomato passata)
- 2 1/2 cup water, divided
- 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
- 1lb of sweet potato, peeled and diced to 1-inch cubes
- 1lb of firm flesh fish fillet (I used plaice), cut to bite size pieces
- In a large non-stick pan (I used a 3qt sauté pan with glass lid), toast cumin seeds and fennels seeds over medium high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add about 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan, let it warm up a little. Sauté gingerroot, garlic, and green chilli until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste, keep stirring until evenly distributed.
- Add in garam masala, turmeric, and salt. Stir stir stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add tomato puree and 2 cups of water to the pan. Cover with lid and bring to boil. In the mean time, make a slurry with remaining 1/2 cup of water and chickpea flour ensuring there is no lumps. Stir slurry into pan and add sweet potato. Cover with lid and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove lid and continue cooking for another 10 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and sauce slightly thickens.
- Add fish to the pan and stir to combine. Cover with lid and cook for about 5-7 minutes until fish is cooked. Cooking time will depend on the type of fish you use and the size of the pieces. Serve immediately.