Goan Inspired Pacific Cod Curry
Goan Inspired Pacific Cod Curry ~ Subtly sweet from coconut milk, this Goan inspired curry is rich, creamy, and mildly spiced, poaching the pacific cod with tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
Curry is a favorite in my household. This Goan inspired curry is now officially the family favorite.
Goa is small Western coastal state in India along the southern portion of the subcontinent. It's a widely popular tourist destination.
Because Goa is coastal, fish and seafood are widely used in the cuisine, including curries.
Goa was colonized by Portugal after Vasco de Gama made his way there in the last 15th Century and remained so for nearly 450 years.
Much like how French flavors have influenced Vietnamese cuisine, Portuguese flavors are tasted in Goan cuisine. Pork, tomatoes, and vinegars were three of the many items introduced to the existing cuisine.
The Portuguese influence is more widely known as Catholic cuisine while the traditional Indian flavors are referred to as Hindu cuisine.
If you're fan of Indian food and have had vindaloo, you've enjoyed a Goan dish, specifically, catholic cuisine.
Coconut milk, rice, and spices, and fish, all staples in both Hindu and Catholic Goan cuisines, helped inspired this recipe.
Traditionally, curry powder is not something a true Goan would use in their curries. They would have measured out each spice to achieve the specific flavor profile they were seeking.
However, in today's busy world, curry powders are an asset to the busy cook's kitchen.
When making this Goan Inspired Pacific Cod Curry, be sure to use at least a 12" deep skillet. That will allow for plenty of room to sauté all the veggies, add the required liquids, and poach the fish.
This is a quick cooking meal, in the amount of time it takes for a couple of cups of rice to cook, this meal is done.
Now, about the heat level. Most curries, Goan or otherwise, tend to have some heat behind them or are AKA, spicy. My family LOVES spices, but we're only on the moderate level for spicy (heat). We like to know it's there, but not feel its presence.
In other words, we're wimps.
Please start with my suggested amount of Indian chili powder, but after the coconut milk has gone in and warmed up, take a taste. If more heat is desired, slowly add more, 1/8 of a teaspoon at a time. Allow the chili powder to fully integrate before adding more.
Once you've got the heat where you want it, add the fish. Then after the fish has been in for two to three minutes, taste for salt. We seasoned the fish before cooking, which will help season the curry as a whole.
This recipe is easily doubled, but use a 6 qt. enameled cast iron/dutch oven instead of a traditional skillet.
I made this using Pacific cod, but I have no doubt that it would be wonderful with halibut as well.
- 4 pacific cod portions
- Salt/Pepper (for the fish)
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced/grated
- 2 large green bell peppers; sliced
- ½ cup white onion; thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tbsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. Indian chili powder; +/- to taste/heat
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. curry powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt; +/- to taste
- 3 large beefsteak tomatoes; coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro; chopped
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 (13.5-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
- Remove the pacific cod from its packaging, rinse, and pat dry.
- Generously (or to desired amounts) salt and pepper both sides of the pacific cod; set aside.
- Heat oil in 12" skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
- Add onion, garlic, and peppers; sauté for about 2 minutes.
- Add coriander, ginger, chili powder, turmeric, salt, and curry powder; mix in well, cook until fragrant, 5 to 10 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes and cilantro, stirring until fully incorporated to the other vegetables and spices, 1 minute.
- Add the water and bring to a boil.
- Once at a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, simmer, 5 minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk until incorporated.
- Add the fish; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until fish is just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
- At the 3 minute mark, taste for salt, add more if desired, allow to simmer for the additional minute or two, until the fish is cooked.
- Remove from heat.
- Serve over basmati rice and enjoy.