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Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth: Season One: Julie Sahni's New York

  • Active time:45 min
  • Start to finish:50 min
November 2009
Watch a preview of this Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth episode and it view its accompanying recipes. Plus, explore all episodes and more recipes from the show.
  • 5 pieces kokum (fish tamarind)
  • 1 1/2 cups water plus 1/4 cup water
  • 1 3/4 lbs whole butterfish (6 or 7), or 4 (5- to 6-oz) fish fillets or steaks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground Indian red chile powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Kashmiri ground chile powder (or substitute paprika for a milder chile)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 medium cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger (a 3- by 1-inch piece)
  • 3 small (1- to 2-inch) Indian or Thai green chiles, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 fresh kari sprigs (16 kari leaves each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Equipment

    a 12-inch wide flame-proof earthenware pot (chetti) or heavy braising pan
  • Put kokum and 1 1/2 cups water in a small bowl and soak 30 minutes.
  • Cut off side fins and top and bottom fins from butterfish with kitchen shears.
  • Stir together red chile powders, coriander, and tumeric with remaining 1/4 cup water in a bowl to form a soft masala paste.
  • Heat coconut oil in pot or braising pan over medium heat until it shimmers, 1 to 2 minutes, then add fenugreek and cook, stirring, until fenugreek is brown, about 1 minute. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, and chiles and cook, stirring, until garlic is golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add masala paste and cook, stirring, until oil starts to separate, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in kokum, including soaking water, kari sprigs, and salt and bring to a boil.
  • Immerse fish in sauce, and simmer, shaking pan to baste tops of fish with sauce, 3 minutes for butterfish, 5 to 7 minutes for fillets or steaks. Remove pan from heat and cover to gently finish cooking fish and infuse flavors.
Cooks' Note: Masala paste can be made and ingredients prepped 1 hour ahead.