You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Austin360Cooks: Ahead of blogger cook-off, a fish curry to try at home


Until she became a mom, Shefaly Ravula had been a physician’s assistant who spent her nonworking time cooking and learning more about cooking.

But the Houston-born Ravula says that after she had her girls, she didn’t find the health care industry as rewarding as it once was. She wanted to focus on raising her little ones and maybe starting a new career around food. She’d always loved to cook, learning Indian dishes from her mom at an early age and then expanding to foods from around the world when she was in college.

It was that passion that inspired her to start teaching cooking classes and eventually start a food blog, Shef’s Kitchen (shefskitchen.com), where she posts some of the favorite dishes from her classes and her own home cooking.

She and her family were out in Big Bend National Park a few weeks ago, where I ran into them on one of the trails. Small world, right? With the Austin Food Blogger Alliance Colossal Curry Cook-Off coming up Saturday, I asked if Ravula wouldn’t mind sharing one of her favorite curries, and this is the one she picked when we both got back to Austin. (Full disclosure: Both Ravula and I are members of the food blogger alliance, and I have been on the board since it started in 2011.)

In the original post on her blog, Ravula wrote that this dish came from a six-week trip that she and her husband made — before they had kids — to the southern coast of India, to the state of Kerala.

That was the first time she’d had Keralan cuisine, spiced with curry leaves, chilies, turmeric, black pepper and cumin and cooled with coconut milk. This fish molee is one of the classic curries she had there, and back in Austin, she can find the ingredients, including curry leaves and fresh tumeric, at Indian markets and even some upscale grocers. Curry leaf plant (not curry plant) can also be found at It’s About Thyme nursery, Ravula says.

Show us what you’re cooking by adding #Austin360Cooks to your posts on social media. Each week, we run one of our favorite submissions in the food section, and you can see the recent contributions at austin360.com/360-cooks-april2016.

Keralan Fish Curry (Fish Molee)

1 lb. halibut, cubed into 1-inch pieces, leaving skin on

1/2 tsp. ground dried turmeric mixed with 1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/4 tsp. cumin seed

1/4 tsp. brown or black mustard seeds

10-15 fresh curry leaves, plucked off stems, left whole (optional)

1/2 red onion, sliced

1 green chili (Serrano or Thai bird), quartered lengthwise

1-inch piece fresh turmeric root, peeled

1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled

4 fresh garlic cloves

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup (8 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Freshly cooked basmati rice, for serving

Sprinkle the turmeric-salt blend over the fish cubes and rub on with your hands or a spoon. Set aside.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or medium-size nonstick pot over medium heat. Pan-fry the fish pieces skin-side down, setting the pieces one by one gently with tongs into the hot oil. Let the pieces sit for about a minute and then check to see if they release on their own. (This means they are ready to flip over; the skin will start to curl up on its sides). Flip pieces over gently one by one and cook for another minute. Remove pieces to a plate and set aside.

To the same pot (the remaining oil will be yellow-tinged), add the cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds. Do not allow blackening. Add the mustard seeds, and when the mustard seeds begin to pop, immediately add curry leaves to the pot. (The curry leaves will splatter, so keep a lid nearby.)

Lower the heat, and then stir in onions. Add the chili (seeds and all). Use the full chili if you want it spicy! Cook for 5 minutes on low heat.

Meanwhile, combine the fresh turmeric, fresh ginger and garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle (or a food processor, or grate them all into a small pile). If using the mortar, sprinkle in a pinch of salt and mash to a coarse paste. Add paste to the onions and stir.

Stir in black pepper, coriander, cumin and salt to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the coconut milk and add 1/4 cup water. Stir well and cook for a few minutes.

Gently add fish pieces to the pot. You can swirl the pot around, but halibut is a firm enough fish that it shouldn’t break down if handled gently. Cook the fish in the curry for a few minutes. Serve hot over or next to steaming basmati rice. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

— From Shefaly Ravula, Shef’s Kitchen (shefskitchen.com)



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360 Eats

‘GLOW’ fits right in with today’s feminist TV, and it’s ready to rumble
‘GLOW’ fits right in with today’s feminist TV, and it’s ready to rumble

The fun and forthright “GLOW” (which premiered June 23 on Netflix) is a 10-episode dramedy about the nascent days of televised female professional wrestling, in which a disparate group of underemployed actresses, models, party girls and unwitting introverts are recruited by a greaseball B-movie director to try something that’s never...
Books, art and patriotic beer this week
Books, art and patriotic beer this week

Books Meg Gardiner at BookPeople. Listen to Gardiner, a local author and an Edgar Award winner, discuss her riveting psychological thriller inspired by the never-caught Zodiac killer. “Unsub” is about a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized the city of San Francisco 20 years...
Webb Report: Texas has more LGBT pride (via hashtags) than 47 states
Webb Report: Texas has more LGBT pride (via hashtags) than 47 states

Say it loud and say it proud, Texas. According to a new list, you’ve got LGBT pride to spare, at least on social media. It’s Pride month for a few more days, and Internet service provider resource High Speed Internet recently ranked the states according to how often they used Pride-related hashtags on their photos of marches, parades and...
One Night in Austin: Americana adventures in the summer heat
One Night in Austin: Americana adventures in the summer heat

We wrapped up our yearlong “One Night” series back in March, after checking out dozens of local acts on monthly smorgasbord tours of Austin music hot spots large and small.
Grilling? Don’t hold the mayo!
Grilling? Don’t hold the mayo!

This is the season of outdoor parties and cookouts, as those of us self-professed grill masters and weekend warriors deftly show off our live-fire cooking skills in front of family and friends. That is, until the grill flares up and those beautiful steaks are reduced to charcoal and we’re peeling them off the grill through a cloud of smoke. It&rsquo...
More Stories