Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Under African Skies Pt 1 — Mtuzi Wa Samaki

I did not expect to find a fresh, light curry in my search for a traditional Kenyan recipe. So, not only is this foray into international cuisine fun, it's helping to rid me of some cultural food ignorance.

I chose to use sable fish in the dish, which I know is all kinds of wrong, as northern British Columbia is about as far from Kenya as you can get, but its mild taste was a great compliment to the other flavours.

Also, the original recipe called for 3 lbs of fish, but since I buy all my fish at a sustainable seafood wholesaler, a 1.5-pound fillet cost about $30, and so I figured that would suffice. After all, that extra $30 could go a very long way in Kenya, and in the end the dish still had a good fish-to-curry ratio.

Here's the recipe: 



1 1/2 lb fish fillets
3 tbsp oil
6 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper
1 onion
1 can coconut milk
3 tomatoes
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper to taste 


Cut the fish in serving portions and chop the onion, bell pepper, garlic and tomatoes in small pieces.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Sear the fish fillets shortly and put them on a separate plate.

Do not cook through. Reduce the heat to minimum and add the pepper and onion. Sauté until the onion is semitransparent. Add the garlic, and sauté for 2 more min. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the fish fillets. Cover the pot and simmer until the fish is cooked through, which should take up to 10 min.

Serve with rice, boiled potatoes, chapatti, or boiled cassava.*

Click here to read about what the UN World Food Programme is doing to fight hunger Kenya in the wake of severe drought. I would also encourage you read this to give you an idea of how complex the problem of hunger is in Kenya (and incidently in many other regions). (More on that topic in a future post.)



*I have no idea what those last two are — see what I mean about ignorance?

1 comment:

Char said...

Chapattis are like roti - basically flatbread you can use to scoop up delicious sauces. Cassava, I dk so much, but I think it's some kind of root vegetable? Or maybe greens like kale or spinach?

This curry looks divine & I think I will be forced to try it soon!