So, I know, it is Monday. I should be posting up a lovely quick meat free meal, but today is going to be different, just to keep you all on your toes. The reason behind this is simple. Last week, after hanging around with a variety of germ infested children, I went down with the flu. Now, what you need to understand is that I never get ill (in fact I can only think of one time in my life when I had the flu before) unless you count the odd hangover, so I really don’t make the best patient. It’s not that I don’t like lying around doing nothing, I just want to feel well whilst I’m doing it. And believe me, this flu was a killer. As it’s still hanging around now leaving all of us feeling like we’ve been run over by a bus, I thought today I’d rustle up something to perk us back up again so we can last out the last few weeks of this interminable winter.
Before you look at the ingredient list of this recipe and faint from the length of it, let me tell you that I didn’t just randomly throw everything that I had in my cupboards in a pan. Each ingredient has good reason to be in that pot and quite apart from what they’ll do for your immune system, they’ll make a fantastic fresh and delicate tasting curry. Don’t be tempted to leave any of them out for that reason. Although you might be losing out on some great immune boosting action, you’ll also lose out on the flavour and that would be too much of a shame. You can play around with the amount of chilli you use though. Bear in mind I make mine to suit a wide range of tastes; you may prefer it hotter. Some might argue the hotter the better; the beta-carotene rich capsaicin in the chilli that provides you with that heat will also help you to ward off further infections and act as a much needed anti-inflammatory. Combine this with the anti-microbial, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory action of the turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and coriander and you are already looking at quite a nice pick me up before you even consider the infection fighting allicin in the garlic as well as the glutathione raising powers of the (not over cooked I hope) broccoli. Don’t forget glutathione will help support your liver to flush out any nasty toxins hanging around but needs to be helped out along the way by the selenium rich seafood. The salmon will also top up your levels of omega 3 fats and help fight any inflammation and both the salmon and the seafood will provide some healthy proteins to make sure your body can repair itself and so recover properly. Keep the effort and cooking to a minimum (this is not a dish to be left simmering on the stove top all day) and serve covered in chopped fresh coriander with some basmati rice. You won’t have long to wait until you feel on top of the world again.
Flu Fighting Fish Curry
2 Onions, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, diced
5 cms piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 tsps turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
400g tin of tomatoes
250g cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
6 anchovies, torn up
400g tin of coconut milk
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 heads of broccoli cut into bite sized florets and the stalk peeled and diced
200g fresh spinach
400g salmon fillets, cooked and flaked into biggish chunks
500g cooked mixed seafood (I used a mixture of shrimp/ prawns, mussels, squid and clams)
Fresh coriander, chopped
Firstly take your garlic, ginger, fennel seeds, coriander seeds and cumin and pound them together in a pestle and mortar until you have a smoothish paste. It will smell delicious but put it to one side.
Finely slice your onions and chuck them in a pan with the peeled and chopped broccoli stalks and a good splash of olive or rape seed oil and cook on a medium heat for around 8 minutes, stirring often.
Then add the diced chilli, the turmeric, the garam masala, the cinnamon and the garlic and ginger paste. Cook for a further minute.
Add the tin of tomatoes and refill the tin with water and add that too. Then add the coconut milk, lime leaves, cherry tomatoes and anchovies and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to come together.
When your rice is almost cooked, throw in the broccoli and spinach and cook for three minutes, so that it still has a little bite. Check your seasoning then add the salmon and seafood to the pan. Make sure it is piping hot before serving covered in the roughly chopped fresh coriander.